After winning first ODI against Sri Lanka, Pakistan is now aiming to sustain their dominance in the second ODI today at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.
Pakistan captain, Sarfraz Ahmed has urged his team to maintain relentless approach and winning momentum in the second ODI. The Green-shirts went 1-0 up in the five-match series with a detached 83-run win in the first game in Dubai on Friday. An outstanding performance by Pakistan batsmen helped Pakistan to post 292 for 6 in their 50 overs in the first match. The major contribution from Babar Azam of (103) and Shoaib Malik (81) gave Pakistan a solid total, while Sri Lanka collapsed to its eighth consecutive loss.
On another hand, Sri Lanka will aim for a better outing. The Sri Lanka’s batting department was a major hitch in the last ODI. Despite some good batting from Lahiru Thirimanne and Akila Dananjaya, other players failed to step up to the occasion.
Sri Lanka coach Nic Pothas urged his batsmen to stand up and be counted. “Obviously they ended up getting too many runs on that wicket,” he said after the first ODI. “From a batting point of view, the currency of your batting runs. If you don’t keep making them, the shop is going to close down at some point. We have to ask the batters to take some responsibility. The top six batters managed 96 between them. One batter got 53 and you are not going to get too many”.
Sarfraz announced an unchanged XI for today’s game. But he called on his batsmen to be more proactive in the first ten overs. “We missed a few things and would like to improve on that,” said Sarfraz. “We didn’t take very many singles in the first ten overs, so we have to address that. “It’s important to build the team towards the 2019 World Cup,” he added. “We are giving consistent chances to youngsters, and that will be the key towards that event.”
Sri Lanka may want to try Seekkuge Prasanna for Thisara Perera, as the latter remains inconsistent in the international arena.
Pakistan: Fakhar Zaman, Ahmed Shehzad, Babar Azam, Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Sarfraz Ahmed (c & wk), Imad Wasim, Hasan Ali, Shadab Khan, Rumaan Raees, Junaid Khan
Sri Lanka: Niroshan Dickwella (wk), Upul Tharanga (c), Kusal Mendis, Dinesh Chandimal, Lahiru Thirimanne, Milinda Siriwardene, Seekkuge Prasanna, Akila Dananjaya, Jeffrey Vandersay, Suranga Lakmal, Lahiru Gamage