Sri Lanka v Pakistan
Only Twenty20 International, Colombo
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Sri Lanka will have the chance to make it three series wins over Pakistan with theTwenty20 International that takes place tomorrow in Colombo.
Although Sri Lanka have come out on top in both the Test series and the One Day international series, the upcoming Twenty20 will be the challenge that shows that they have really avenged the defeat to Pakistan in the World Twenty20 earlier this summer. However, with so much talk of momentum in the modern game nowadays, Pakistan will be looking to take the form of their two latest wins into the Twenty20 encounter.
Sri Lanka have picked a specialist squad for this match which just goes to show that a lot more international teams are taking Twenty20 cricket a lot more seriously these days. Malinga Bandara has retained his place after making a return to international cricket in the recent ODIs and Mahela Udawatte also receives a call up having scored a sparkling century against the tourists in a warm up match earlier in the tour.
Pakistan are facing a couple of injury doubts going into this match however. Umar Gul and Abul Razzaq are both facing the prospect of missing the rematch of the World Twenty20 final after having suffered their injuries during the ODI series.
Pakistan won the last two matches so convincingly that they must surely go into the Twenty20 with ambitions of winning it. However, as has been the case for so long with Pakistan, one never knows which team is going to show up. Afterall, the same team that won the last two matches had not won a match on this tour up until the penultimate ODI. With this in mind, Sri Lanka will know that they have a chance of reversing the World Twenty20 result. The home team had already won the series once Pakistan pulled together a performance worthy of beating a good Sri Lankan team, and so may have eased of the pace with this last competitive match in the back of their minds.
We are lucky to be treated with a rematch of the World Twenty20 final so soon after the first chapter of that story finished with Pakistan victorious in England earlier this summer, but this match up could possibly a more hotly contested match with Pakistan wanting to go home with some pride intact and Sri Lanka hoping to avenge their defeat. Whatever happens, there will no doubt be fireworks.
© Cricket World 2009