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When: Sri Lanka vs Pakistan, Asia Cup Final, September 11, 06:00 PM Local time, 07:30 PM IST
Where: Dubai International Cricket Stadium
What to expect: Another ‘win toss, bowl first’ situation. 26 of the last 30 T20Is have been won by the chasing side. Three of the four target-setting winners have been teams that have scored in excess of 190.
Among the two teams, Pakistan have a better record than Sri Lanka on both counts since 2021 against top-10 teams – batting first, Pakistan have won 5 in 12 games while Sri Lanka have won just 2 of their 17. Batting second, Pakistan have 13 wins in 17 while Sri Lanka have won 9 in 19.
Head to head: Sri Lanka and Pakistan have met in three Asia Cup finals – the former won in 1986 and 2014 while the latter emerged victorious in 2000. This will be Sri Lanka’s 11th Asia Cup final – the most for a team.
Injury/Unavailability: None reported.
Tactics & Matchups: Spin department led by Wanindu Hasaranga could define Sri Lanka’s fate in this fixture. Pakistan’s top-six have struck at less than 120 against spinners in T20Is since 2021, and clearly struggled against Sri Lanka spinners on Friday. Even part-timer Dhananjaya de Silva had them on strings, finishing with a spell of 1 for 18 in which he didn’t concede a single four. Pakistan have also repeatedly lost momentum in the post-PowerPlay phase of 7 to 10 overs – a phase that Sri Lanka spinners could look to maximise.
Probable XI: Pathum Nissanka, Kusal Mendis(w), Charith Asalanka/Dhananjaya de Silva, Danushka Gunathilaka, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Dasun Shanaka(c), Wanindu Hasaranga, Chamika Karunaratne, Maheesh Theekshana, Pramod Madushan/Asitha Fernando, Dilshan Madushanka
Injury/Unavailability: No injuries reported. Naseem Shah and Shadab Khan, who were rested on Friday, should return.
Tactics & Matchups: After Friday, countering Sri Lanka’s spin threat will be top-priority. Shadab Khan was tidy with the bat at #5 in the thriller against Afghanistan, and could once again be Pakistan’s spin. He has the experience of doing well against spin in PSL – averaging 36.75 at a strike rate of 142.71.
Probable XI: Mohammad Rizwan(w), Babar Azam(c), Fakhar Zaman, Iftikhar Ahmed, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Asif Ali, Khushdil Shah, Haris Rauf, Naseem Shah, Mohammad Hasnain