SL vs PAK, 2nd Test: Preview, stats, and Fantasy XI
Sri Lanka will lock horns with Pakistan in the second and decisive Test, starting July 24. SL looked belligerent in the opening Test but failed to seep through at the latter stages. They need a win to muster valuable points for the World Test Championship and level the series 1-1. Meanwhile, Pakistan have an opportunity to recreate the 2015 heroics. Here is the preview.
The Galle International Stadium in Galle will host this Test. Batting is likely to get easier as the innings progresses. Spinners will dictate the game by a fair share. Passing showers can be anticipated on Day 1, 4, and 5. The match will be telecast live on Sony Sports Network (10:00 AM IST) and live-streamed on the Sony LIV app.
SL have a 16-21 win-loss record against Pakistan in Tests (19 draws). Pakistan had won the last Test series by 1-0. The Island nation had won the 2017 series in UAE by 2-0. However, they succumbed to a 2-1 defeat at home in 2015.
SL have been a force to deal with in Tests played of late. They had staged a clinical comeback in the decider against Australia, thereby leveling the two-match duels 1-1. Prior to that, they trumped Bangladesh in the decisive feud to take home a 1-0 win. Batting-wise, Dinesh Chandimal and Angelo Mathews remain the linchpins. Slow left-arm orthodox Prabath Jayasuriya is a must-see player.
Off-spinner Maheesh Theekshana has been ruled out of the second Test. He suffered a finger injury during the first Test. 22-year-old Lakshitha Manasinghe has received his maiden call-up. He has garnered 73 wickets in 17 FC matches, including six five-fers. Meanwhile, Pakistan pacer Shaheen Afridi misses out due to a knee injury. Either Faheem Ashraf or Haris Rauf will make the cut.
Batting-wise, Pakistan's hopes and wishes lie on the in-form duo of Abdullah Shafique and Babar Azam. The duo scored hundreds each in the last Test. Shafique had class written over him, as he slammed 160* in the 342-run chase. Spinners Yasir Shah and Mohammad Nawaz excelled on their Test returns. The pair will have to deliver the needful in the much coveted duel.
SL (probable XI): Oshada Fernando, Dimuth Karunaratne (captain), Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Dhananjaya de Silva, Dinesh Chandimal, Niroshan Dickwella (wicket-keeper), Ramesh Mendis, Lakshitha Manasinghe, Prabath Jayasuriya, Kasun Rajitha. Pakistan (probable XI): Abdullah Shafique, Imam-ul-Haq, Azhar Ali, Babar Azam (captain), Agha Salman, Mohammad Rizwan (wicket-keeper), Haris Rauf/Faheem Ashraf, Mohammad Nawaz, Yasir Shah, Hasan Ali, Naseem Shah.
Abdullah Shafique has smashed 720 Test runs at 80.00. Babar Azam has tonked the Lankans for 475 runs at 67.85. He has three hundreds and two fifties. Spinner Prabath Jayasuriya has snared 21 wickets in two Tests, averaging 18.76. Dinesh Chandimal has slammed 618 Test runs in 2022. He averages a phenomenal 123.60. Versus SL, Yasir Shah has claimed 47 Test scalps at 25.12
Fantasy XI (option 1): Dinesh Chandimal, Mohammad Rizwan, Dimuth Karunaratne, Angelo Mathews, Abdullah Shafique, Babar Azam (c), Ramesh Mendis, Mohammad Nawaz, Prabath Jayasuriya (vc), Yasir Shah, Lakshitha Manasinghe. Fantasy XI (option 2): Kusal Mendis, Dinesh Chandimal (c), Mohammad Rizwan, Dimuth Karunaratne, Abdullah Shafique (vc), Babar Azam, Ramesh Mendis, Mohammad Nawaz, Prabath Jayasuriya, Yasir Shah, Lakshitha Manasinghe.