After a wretched batting performance, the Pakistan team aims for a roaring comeback. The number one ranked side's reputation got tarnished a bit the other day after an erratic stab at the modest target of 166. The young guns from the island nation didn't seem overawed by the occasion and stuck to their plans superbly.
Danushka Gunathilaka is in the middle of a purple patch in this tour, and his quickfire fifty was instrumental in his team's triumph in the first T20I — he is expected to go along his merry way with his clean hitting.
Mohammad Hasnain picked up a hat-trick in the last game that spanned over two bowling spells which was a bright spot considering Pakistan's T20 World Cup preparations. The rookie speedster may well run in fluently after the calming of his nerves in the first overwhelming encounter in front of a vociferous Lahore crowd.
The comeback kings, Umar Akmal and Ahmed Shehzad, will be under the spotlight as they took a lot of flak after not even reaching the double figures the other night. Misbah-ul-Haq is of the view that every player who is scoring heaps of runs in domestic cricket deserves a fair chance before dropping the axe on underperforming players.
Pakistan captain, Sarfaraz Ahmed is under the pump as when the pressure was mounting, he had a brain freeze moment when he danced down the track in an attempt to muscle Wanindu Hasaranga's harmless floaty flower of a straighter delivery over the midwicket but he missed the line completely and the ball shattered his middle stump.
Pakistan had a day off to reflect on the upset and restrategize and now they have got a chance to make amends with the series in jeopardy. Sri Lanka, on the other hand, just need to be ruthless and come up with another spirited performance to pull off an astonishing series win. The dew factor wasn't a major hindrance during the course of the first T20I but whoever wins the toss today would prefer bowling first.
Pitch Report: Russel Arnold reckons the pitch is quite dry and has cracks as well. They are using a new surface so the cunning variations, slow balls, and off cutters will be handy on what appears to be a true batting wicket.
Pakistan: Sarfaraz Ahmed (c), Babar Azam (vc), Abid Ali, Asif Ali, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Sohail, Mohammad Hasnain, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan, Shadab Khan, Usman Shinwari, Wahab Riaz.
Sri Lanka: Lahiru Thirimanne (c), Danushka Gunathilaka, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Avishka Fernando, Oshada Fernando, Shehan Jayasuriya, Dasun Shanaka, Minod Bhanuka, Angelo Perera, Wanindu Hasaranga, Lakshan Sandakan, Nuwan Pradeep, Isuru Udana, Kasun Rajitha, Lahiru Kumara