Sri Lanka will turn up against Pakistan for one final time on the tour in the third T20I in Lahore. Losing the ODI series 2-0 and keeping Pakistan’s numero uno status in the format in mind, it was hard to give Sri Lanka any chance to emerge triumphant in the T20I series but a young visiting side have caused an upset by winning the series with a match to go.
The game may be a dead rubber but holds a lot of significance for Pakistan who have lost their first bilateral T20I series since January 2016. Playing at home, they would want to finish the series with a win and avoid what could be an embarrassing whitewash for the current number one side in the format. For Sri Lanka, it is their first T20I series win against a side other than Bangladesh since February 2017.
Ground Detail and Team Combination:
The Gaddafi Stadium, one of the only two stadiums to host T20I cricket in Pakistan has continued to be a deck for the pacers. Before the series, the pacers had a bowling average of 33.4 along with a strike-rate of 22.3, better than that of spinners who have averaged 36.6 with a strike-rate of 26.7. After the two T20Is at the venue in this series, that gap has widened.
Except for Sri Lanka’s Wanindu Hasaranga, no spinner has been able to leave a lasting impression on the Gaddafi’s 22-yards. Hence, it would be beneficial to boost your Fantasy side with pacers.
Babar Azam has had quite an indifferent series by his own standards. His failures in the first two games (scores of 13 and 3) leading to a top-order collapse in successive games have highlighted Pakistan’s dependency on him.
Babar’s average has dipped from 54.2 at the start of the series to 50.5 after two games. Yet, he continues to be the highest averaging batsman in T20Is (minimum 10 innings) which speaks for his consistency.
Given his reassuring style of batting right at the top, which provides him with an opportunity to bat long, it would be a mistake to be blinded by a couple of failures from him. If Pakistan has to win, it can come through a typical Babar Azam knock.
As mentioned above, Wanindu Hasaranga has been the only spinner to leave an imprint in the series. He broke the back of Pakistan’s run-chase in the second game with three wickets in an over, dismissing Ahmed Shehzad, Umar Akmal and Sarfaraz Ahmed with his googlies. Having picked a total of five wickets in the two games in the series, Hasaranga is a must pick for your Fantasy side.
Imad Wasim is a crucial link in Pakistan’s T20I line-up and he showed it with a courageous knock of 47 in the second game when the chips were down. But his batting is just an add-on to his primary skill, left-arm orthodox spin which has often come in handy for Pakistan during the field restrictions. Imad hardly gets hit for runs and bowls out his four-over quota on most occasions. 40 wickets in 37 T20Is is an example of his canny knack to pick wickets.
Nuwan Pradeep has been the highest wicket-taker in the series with 7 wickets in two games. His economy, 6.57 runs per over has been second only to Imad Wasim in the series. Given the assistance Gaddafi has offered to the pacers, the right-arm seamer could reap rewards your Fantasy side once again.
Suggested FanFight Team:
Danushka Gunathilaka, Babar Azam (c), Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Sarfaraz Ahmed (wk), Shehan Jayasuriya, Imad Wasim, Wanindu Hasaranga, Isuru Udana, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Hasnain, Nuwan Pradeep