Deadline: December 19, 2019 at 10:15 AM IST
Venue: National Stadium, Karachi
The pitch in Karachi is as flat as you get. In October, Pakistan chased down Sri Lanka’s competitive target of 298 runs with 10 balls to spare. For obvious reasons, the team winning the toss will look to bat first.
Pakistan: Shan Masood, Abid Ali, Azhar Ali (c), Babar Azam, Haris Sohail, Asad Shafiq, Mohammad Rizwan, Usman Shinwari, Mohammed Abbas, Naseem Shah, Shaheen Afridi
Sri Lanka: Dimuth Karunaratne, Oshada Fernando, Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Dinesh Chandimal, Dhananjaya de Silva, Niroshan Dickwella (wk), Dilruwan Perera, Vishwa Fernando, Asith Fernando, Lahiru Kumara
We have opted for a fantasy team on the basis of players’ impact, recent performances, and credit points.
You can also check players’ performances in the last 5 matches. Tap on the players’ images to get the data while making your fantasy team.
Wicketkeeper: Niroshan Dickwella
Batsmen: Babar Azam (c), Abid Ali, Oshada Fernando, Azhar Ali, Dimuth Karunaratne
All-rounders: Angelo Mathews, Dhananjaya de Silva (vc)
Bowlers: Naseem Shah, Lahiru Kumara, Shaheen Afridi
NOTE: Pick your fantasy cricket team wisely.
Match prediction and preview
Pakistan have not won a Test for 12 months now. Given the way the batsmen played at Rawalpindi, the match would have ended in a draw even if rain had not played spoilsport. In addition, Sri Lanka look confident, especially after their victory over South Africa in their own den earlier this year. It will be an uphill task for Pakistan to get the better of them.
However, Pakistan’s record in Karachi puts them ahead in the race. They have lost a mere 2 of 45 Tests at the National Stadium.
Players to watch out for
Dhananjaya de Silva has evolved into a fine all-rounder, delivering especially when Sri Lanka are staring down the barrel. His hundred at Rawalpindi was his consecutive in the format, taking Sri Lanka from 120 for 3 to 308 declared. The innings was laced with tenacity and grace.
Babar Azam could not have asked for a better start to his Test career in Pakistan. The crowd erupted with joy when he entered the ground, and the ever-improving batsmen did not disappoint his fans. Come to think of it, Pakistan cricket could not have asked for anything better. A Babar Azam hundred is always a delight to watch, and it coming in Test cricket’s return to Pakistan added more glamour to the spectacle. If only rain hadn’t interrupted play…
Abid Ali became the second cricketer to score a hundred on ODI and Test debut, only after Enid Bakewell who represented England women’s team from 1968 to 1979. He played old-fashioned cricket, playing his stroke only when there was an opportunity. In fact, his diminutive stature has earned him comparisons with the great Sachin Tendulkar.
Dimuth Karunaratne continued his good form. His 486 runs are the most for Sri Lanka in 2019, including a century and three fifties.