Malik doubtful for Sri Lanka tie

Updated: 02 July 2008 17:39 IST

Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik is doubtful for Sunday's Asia Cup super four stage match against Sri Lanka, coach Geoff Lawson said on Saturday.

Malik doubtful for Sri Lanka tie

Karachi:

Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik is doubtful for Sunday's Asia Cup super four stage match against Sri Lanka, coach Geoff Lawson said on Saturday.

Malik, who suffered cramps during his 125 runs innings against India the other day, did not participate in Saturday's net session and worked with the physiotherapist on light exercises.

Lawson said the all-rounder was okay but a decision on his inclusion into the squad would be taken before the match.

On the match itself, Lawson admitted that the Lankans would be tough to beat.

"We know it is going to be a tough match but we are hoping to get our momentum going in batting, bowling and fielding. We have to click collectively to get a result in our favour," he said.

"It is an important game for us because we have not carried any points from the qualifying rounds into the super stage. India and Sri Lanka have a slight advantage there," he admitted.

Lawson said the loss of pacer Umar Gul to a rib injury would be felt by the team.

"He is our star bowler and he has been taking wickets consistently for us. His injury is a big setback for us but cricket goes on and we have to manage without him," the former Australian player told reporters after a training session of the Pakistani players on Saturday at the Defence stadium.

Left-arm pacer Wahab Riaz celebrated his 23rd birthday at the ground by cutting a cake for his teammates and was instantly handed a birthday gift in the form of a place in Sunday's line-up.

"Sohail Khan was our first choice but since he was unwell we picked Wahab and he will play on Sunday. He is a good prospect and he must now take this opportunity to do well," Lawson said.

Meanwhile, Sri Lankan captain, Mahela Jayawardene felt that the absence of Gul would not make much of a difference to Pakistan's strength.

"I don't think Gul's absence would make much of a difference to them because they are a strong side and no matter what the conditions are, it basically depends on what sort of attitude they have towards a match on a given day," he said.

"We just have to play to our strengths and do our things right. We rate them very high and we know they can perform on their day. They beat India in the tri-series final recently in Dhaka."

Gul has been replaced by pacer Abdul Rauf, who was cleared for the Asia Cup by the technical committee of the tournament.



Topics : Cricket
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