THIS IS AN important game for both sides. In the Super Four stage every game is of vital importance and for Pakistan carries more significance as they failed to carry any point from league round. Pakistan problems enhanced with injury to Umar that ruled him out. His absence makes likely way for Abdur Rauf. Without Gul the already mediocre bowling looks toothless. Pakistan are in desperate need of bowlers who can make their impact. This is where Pakistan has quite a few problems given the flat pitches and dynamite batting of the opposition. Off-spinner Saeed Ajmal might make his debut but will he be able to halt the likes of Jayasuriya, Sangakkara and Jayawardene would be something of interest to watch. In the circumstances Pakistan bowlers need to have very tight lines. The megre bowling resources here increases Pakistan batsmen responsibility. Clearly Pakistan were about 30-40 runs short of a competitive total against India. Malik will have to bat well once again at the top while the others must keep rapid pace. While the Sri Lankans have a settled unit and are masters of their destination. Batting is clicking while the bowling is also well stuffed. Plus the one thing that gives Lankans a big edge over Pakistan is their vibrant and athletic fielding. Thus all said and done, Sri Lanka looks to be clear favourites today; however as Malik put it the other day that Pakistanis are renowned to perform when the chips are down lets see if the home team has it in them to battle adversity and odds to come out trumps here. Player to watch Murali to test Pakistan batting skills MUTTIAH Muralitharan is a class act in any form of the game. He is the most successful bowler in the game's history and is a one to look out for against any opposition. The wily bowler has the ability to spin it big on any surface and apart from that it's the variations that make him a difficult proposition to deal with. Pakistanis haven't played Murali that well but there aren't many around the world who too have. Murali has 81 wickets against Pakistan in 56 games at an average of 25.41 with a best of 5-23. Understandably the Pakistani batsmen will be weary of Murali's antics and would be looking to deal with him in a cautiously. However, the spin wizard from Kandy is an experienced pro and would be having his own set of plans. Muralitharan didn't have a good time in the recent Indian Premier League and will be eager to make his mark in the Asia Cup. In his only game so far against United Arab Emirates, Murali was spinning the ball big that shows variation he has but his doosara makes him more lethal. Despite his growing age he is pretty energetic and often seen patrolling the mid-off and mid-on areas. And he is a slog too of late order. Indeed he is a champion cricketer which any team will like to havein its ranks. - Nabeel Sabir