Wed, 16 Oct 2019

Sri Lanka's new stars chase rare T20I silverware

ESPNCricInfo
09 Oct 2019, 04:42 GMT+10

Sri Lanka WWLLL

In the spotlight

Very quietly, Shadab Khan has been having a disappointing 2019. His legspin has averaged 41.11 across 13 ODI innings this year (though his World Cup average of 35.55 was better). In T20Is, his numbers are even bleaker - his economy rate up at 9.42, and his average at 44, albeit from only four appearances. Sri Lanka is a team he had generally done well against, but several batsmen seemed to enjoy his bowling through the course of this tour, and his 1 for 35 on Saturday was modest without being terrible. In recent years, Sri Lanka haven't loved playing wristspin. If Shadab can turn his form around, Pakistan will go some way to checking the opposition's batting.

Prior to his debut, no uncapped Sri Lanka player had quite produced as much hype in the capital as Bhanuka Rajapaksa. A star at school level for one of the fanciest Colombo institutions - Royal College - Rajapaksa had been tipped by many to become one of the island's best. But in senior cricket, his record has been modest, particularly in first-class and List A matches. Despite this, he has now got the chance to showcase his wares at the top level, and in his first T20I, he produced an innings that went some way to justifying the ten-year hype. If he can back Saturday's 32 off 22 balls up with another good performance, the selectors may keep him on even when the first-choice players return to the fray.

Team news

Given Shehzad's poor innings in the first match, Fakhar Zaman may come back into the XI.

Pakistan (possible): 1 Fakhar Zaman, 2 Babar Azam, 3 Umar Akmal, 4 Sarfaraz Ahmed (capt.) (wk), 5 Iftikhar Ahmed, 6 Asif Ali, 7 Imad Wasim, 8 Faheem Ashraf, 9 Shadab Khan, 10 Mohammad Amir, 11 Mohammad Hasnain

Sri Lanka will probably see no reason to change their XI.

Sri Lanka (possible): 1 Danushka Gunathilaka, 2 Avishka Fernando, 3 Bhanuka Rajapaksa, 4 Shehan Jayasuriya, 5 Minod Bhanuka (wk), 6 Dasun Shanaka (capt.), 7 Wanindu Hasaranga, 8 Isuru Udana, 9 Lakshan Sandakan, 10 Kasun Rajitha, 11 Nuwan Pradeep

Pitch and conditions

The dew that both teams had expected did not turn up in force on Saturday. Expect Lahore to produce a similar surface.

Stats and trivia

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