LAHORE     -    After facing 64-run defeat at the hands of young Sri Lankan cricket team in the first T20, Pakistan team is ready to face the visitors in second T20 today (Monday) here at Gaddafi Stadium.

Number one Pakistan were being considered as favourites but to the utter surprise of all, the second-leg Sri Lankan team upset them in the first T20 by 64 runs, and now the visitors are eager to maintain consistency against the hosts.

Pakistan are in dire need of some extraordinary performances from their experienced batsmen, led by brilliant Babar Azam. For making a strong comeback in the second T20, Pakistan first need to finalize a right combination and then every individual has to give out his best to help the home side win the second encounter to set up the final game as a series decider on Wednesday (October 9).

Before entering the second game, Pakistan should have to focus a few areas of concern as first the right combination is the key to win the second T20. Opener Ahmed Shehzad, middle order batsman Umar Akmal and skipper Sarfraz Ahmed have to deliver for the team as their performance means a lot for the hosts to keep the series hope alive.

The very positive thing for home side in the T20 series was superb performance by hat-trick boy Mohammad Hasnain, who gave a glimpse of his potential by becoming only the ninth cricketer to pick up a hat-trick. He bowled brilliantly with great pace and venom and also landed the yorkers in the slog overs, which made him hero of the day for Pakistan. More such performances from him and other bowlers can help the hosts win the second T20.

For Sri Lanka, Danushka Gunathalika scored a well-crafted 57 to guide Sri Lanka to 165/5 in 20 overs, before the bowlers put on a complete performance to bundle out Sri Lanka for 101 in the 18th over to register an emphatic 64-run win. The bowling performances of Isuru Udana, Nuwan Pradeep and company helped the visitors restrict the hosts to a mere 101. They will now look to carry the same intensity going forward to seal the series in the second game.

Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmad has promised to make a good comeback in the second T20 against Sri Lanka. “No doubt, we are the world No 1 side but again I say that in T20 cricket, no team is weaker or considered under strength and after our defeat in the opening match we have looked into our weaker areas to get ready for making a comeback in the next game.”

The skipper said every defeat has a lesson and one must learn from it and Pakistan team will go into the match after thoroughly taking into the consideration the facts which resulted in team’s loss.

He urged the team members to show consistency in the coming two games for the fulfillment of their set goals. “I am confident that the players have now realized what we have lost and what we have to achieve.”

Sri Lankan captain Dasun Shanaka expressed the resolve to build up on the success of opening match to put up another good show against world number one team. “Definitely after the victory are more confident and our players are eager to perform well and we will be aiming for win when we go into Monday’s game,” he said.

“I again expect from my side an all-round show, both from bat and ball, to beat Pakistan. I expect a lot from my young side, whose all players are determined to perform the way they performed in the opening match and I anticipate a better performance from them in coming two games,” he added.

Teams batting first have won four of the last five games played at Gaddafi Stadium. The weather forecast is promising with little or no chance of rain playing spoilsport. The track could again turn out to be on the slower side, with bowlers looking for variations.

SQUADS:

PAKISTAN: Sarfraz Ahmed (capt), Ahmed Shehzad, Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam, Umar Akmal, Asif Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Amir, Wahab Riaz, Haris Sohail, Iftikhar Ahmed, Mohammad Hasnain, Usman Shinwari.

SRI LANKA: Dasun Shanaka(capt), Avishka Fernando, Danushka Gunathilaka, Oshada Fernando, Sadeera Samarawickrama(w), Shehan Jayasuriya, Angelo Perera, Isuru Udana, Kasun Rajitha, Lakshan Sandakan, Nuwan Pradeep, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Lahiru Madushanka, Minod Bhanuka, Lahiru Kumara, Wanindu Hasaranga.