Pakistan look to upset Lanka to win World T20

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> An unpredictable Pakistan will be desperate to shed their runners-up tag by pulling off a win against a rampaging Sri Lanka when the two teams meet.

Updated: June 21, 2009 08:14 IST
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An unpredictable Pakistan will be desperate to shed their runners-up tag by pulling off a win against a rampaging Sri Lanka when the two teams meet in the World Twenty20 final at the Lord's on Sunday.

Pakistan, who lost the trophy by a whisker to India in the inaugural edition in South Africa, have played little international cricket since then because of political turmoil back home and would be eager to win the honour in a bid to bring the sport back on track in their country.

But captain Younis Khan is aware that the job at hand is not at all an easy one as primarily his team has not been a consistent side in the tournament so far and secondly Sri Lanka go into the final with a clean slate.

The ease with which Kumara Sangakkara's men thrashed the West Indies in Friday's semi-final at the Oval should also be a matter of concern for Younis Khan.

Pakistan have called up ex-ICL player Abdul Razzaq as a replacement for an injured Yasir Arafat and his presence, strengthens the side as the all rounder is a hard-hitting batsman and a bowler with decent pace.

Return of another all-rounder Shahid Afridi to form just at the right time with a 34-ball 51 in their semifinal against South Africa is also a good news for Pakistan, who would not want to be on the losing side for third time in a World Cup.

Pakistan lost to Steve Waugh's Australia in the 1999 ODI World Cup final at the same venue while in 2007 they were deprived of the Cup by Mahendra Singh Dhoni's young India. Revenge will also be on the mind of Younis tomorrow as they were handed a 19-run defeat by the islanders in their Super Eight match on June 12.

Pakistan will need to overcome their weak points such as poor starts and inability to finish off the close matches, apart from working on their pedestrian batting and focus on their fielding, to realise their dream.

Kamran Akmal at the top of the innings, Afridi and pacer Umar Gul could be the key players for Pakistan. Sri Lanka after their comfortable victory over the West Indies would be looking to continue the momentum in the final. Besides, it would be a good toss to win as teams would prefer to bat first at the Lord's.

Sri Lanka's chances will depend a lot on the opening pair of Sanath Jayasuriya and Tillakaratne Dilshan but unheralded pacer Angelo Mathews and mystery spinner Ajantha Mendis can also bamboozle Pakistan.

Sangakkara's strategy to deny his opponents a good start and tame them in the Powerplay may very well work in his team's favour.

Sangakkara has already made it clear that against Pakistan "the idea would be to concentrate on the role we have and the basics. This philosophy has taken us this far and we need to be responsible on Sunday too and execute our plans." Sangakkara has also reminded his teammates that their job in the tournament is not over yet.

"Hopefully we can do one more step in the tournament. For the final against Pakistan, we can take a lot of self-belief and confidence from this game", he said.


Pakistan: Younis Khan (capt), Abdul Razzaq, Ahmed Shehzad, Fawad Alam, Iftikhar Anjum, Kamran Akmal, Misbah-ul-Haq, Mohammad Aamer, Saeed Ajmal, Salman Butt, Shahid Afridi, Shahzaib Hasan, Shoaib Malik, Sohail Tanvir, Umar Gul.

Sri Lanka: Kumar Sangakkara (Capt), Muttiah Muralitharan, Indika de Saram, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Sanath Jayasuriya, Mahela Jayawardene, Nuwan Kulasekara, Farveez Maharoof, Lasith Malinga, Angelo Mathews, Ajantha Mendis, Jehan Mubarak, Chamara Silva, Thilan Thushara, Isuru Udana.

Match starts at 7.30 pm IST.

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