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SL likely to change bowling lineup vs Pak

The hosts, who lead the three-match series 1-0, only need a draw at the Pallakele Stadium to triumph.

July 7, 2012, 8:18 PM IST
SL likely to change bowling lineup vs Pak

Kandy: Sri Lanka are set to change their bowling lineup in a bid to secure their first Test series success since 2009 when they face Pakistan in the third and final Test starting on Sunday.

The hosts, who lead the three-match series 1-0, only need a draw at the Pallakele Stadium to triumph.

They last won a series against New Zealand three years ago since when they have lost five and drawn three.

Sri Lanka are likely to replace Nuwan Kulasekara and Nuwan Pradeep with Dilhara Fernando and Thisara Perera.

"This is a perfect opportunity for us to win the Test series," said Sri Lanka allrounder Angelo Mathews.

"The second Test was pretty boring because the wicket was pretty flat and it was interrupted by the rain, so we couldn't go for a win."

He expects Pakistan to come back strongly after putting up a good performance in Colombo.

"Pakistan has always been a tremendous force in world cricket so we always expect a good challenge and it's not going to change in tomorrow's game," said Mathews.

The last two Tests played at the Kandy venue, against West Indies and Australia, ended in weather-affected draws and rain is expected to play its part against Pakistan.

The visitors' unbeaten run in Tests under Misbah-ul-Haq's captaincy will end if they fail to win the final Test.

Since Misbah took over, Pakistan have won five of the last seven series and drawn two.

"We were aiming to square the series in the last Test but we were unfortunate because of the rain," said Pakistan vice-captain Mohammad Hafeez.

"As far as the effort is concerned, everybody contributed; the batsmen taking the responsibility and the bowlers pitching in the right areas.

"It is very important that we play the last Test very well and the momentum we will definitely carry on in this game as well.

"We all know this game is very important, because this is the last chance for us to square the series. We will give 100 percent to do it."

Pakistan have a full squad to choose from with fast bowler Umar Gul having recovered from a leg injury.


Sri Lanka: Mahela Jayawardene (captain), Tillakaratne Dilshan, Tharanga Paranavitana, Kumar Sangakkara, Thilan Samaraweera, Angelo Mathews, Prasanna Jayawardene, Rangana Herath, Suraj Randiv, Nuwan Kulasekara, Thisara Perera, Dilhara Fernando, Jeevan Mendis, Dinesh Chandimal, Nuwan Pradeep.

Pakistan: Misbah-ul-Haq (captain), Mohammad Hafeez, Taufeeq Umar, Azhar Ali, Younis Khan, Asad Shafiq, Adnan Akmal, Abdur Rehman, Saeed Ajmal, Aizaz Cheema, Junaid Khan, Umar Gul, Mohammad Sami.

Team Rankings

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 4027 115
2 New Zealand 2829 109
3 South Africa 2917 108
4 England 3778 105
5 Australia 2640 98
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Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6745 125
2 India 7071 122
3 New Zealand 4837 112
4 Australia 5543 111
5 South Africa 5193 110
see more
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 7365 283
2 England 4253 266
3 South Africa 4196 262
4 India 8099 261
5 Australia 5471 261
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