Pakistan favorite to win today!
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Pakistan favorite to win today!

Sharjah : United Arab Emirates | Nov 23, 2011 at 10:26 AM PST
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Pakistan v Sri Lanka 4th ODI Nov 20, 2011 - Last 5 Wickets

Sri Lanka will be looking to restore some proud in the fifth and final ODI of the series at Abu Dhabi today. Pakistan leads the series 3-1 right now, and has clearly been the better team.

In each of the matches, the Pakistani batsmen have managed to stick around and make the Sri Lankan bowling clearly missing Muttiah Muralitharan. What has been worse for the Sri lankans has been their batting. They never looked like even reading the Pakistani bowlers successfully. Umar Gul, Aizaz Cheema, Saeed Ajmal, Shahid Afridi and Muhammad Hafeez all have created way too many problems for them.

This is just not a one off issue that Sri Lanka has faced. They have lost six out of eight series after the world cup, and in all of those series, the averages of their batsmen have dropped significantly. Captain Tillakaratne Dilshan, Vice-captain Angelo Mathews, senior pros Kumar Sangakkara and Upul Tharanga all are going through a rough patch. The only batsman who has looked different, and has been performing well is Mahela Jayawardene, and sadly for Sri Lanka, he is out of the match and the T20 which will follow due to an injury. Seems like nothing is going Sri Lanka’s way, and they would need a serious change in fortune to be able to give Pakistan some competition in today’s match.

On the other hand, looking at Pakistan team, it seems like that the hard work and consistency is finally paying off. They have found the winning combination, and are now experimenting with the team just to feel better as well. They have a great new ball pair, and an even better bunch of spinners. The fielding unit is charged, and they are dropping far less catches than what they used to earlier.

Batting is still a worry for Pakistan, as it collapsed twice in the last two matches. It was lucky for them Shahid Afridi stepped up in the last match and scored a 75. Mohsin Khan and Misbah ul Haq both would have mentioned this in the team meeting, and we should expect a better batting performance by Pakistan in today’s game. Shoaib Malik is expected to get another match, despite his poor performance in the last one, as Abdul Razzaq is injured and has gone back to Pakistan. It is also believed that Pakistan will give an opportunity to the young fast bowler, Junaid Khan after his good performance in the test series. What remains to be seen is who Pakistan is going to leave out!

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Sri Lankan's cricketer Mahela Jayawardene
Sri Lankan's cricketer Mahela Jayawardene
harry68 is based in San Francisco, California, United States of America, and is a Reporter for Allvoices.
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