Both Sri Lanka and Pakistan look strong on paper and it could be anybody's game when they clash later today in the first semi-final of the T20 World Cup in Colombo. Spinners, it is believed, could do the trick for the winning team.
TWO ASIAN giants of world
cricket, Sri Lanka and Pakistan would battle it out in Colombo today in their bid to reach the finals of the T20 World Cup
. Pakistan just scrapped through to the semis on the net run rate basis after both India
and Pakistan were tied at four points each in the Super Eight stage. Sri Lanka was the only undefeated team in the Super Eight stage.
The hosts, Sri Lanka have looked good so far in the competition with both bat and ball. They are peaking at the right time -when it matters most. With players such as Jayawardene in top form other batsmen in the line up also should deliver the goods if they are to overpower the Pakistan side, which is never short of talent. In the bowling department, Ajantha Mendis, Lasith Malinga, and Kulasekera would play an important role. The experience of playing in home conditions would come in handy for the hosts during the game.
On the other hand, Pakistan also posseses a potent bowling attack with Umar Gul, Shahid Afridi, Saeed Ajmal and the new left arm slow bowler, Raza Hasan, who has been earning praises for his bowling. It is the spinners of the Pakistan team that can stifle the Sri Lankan bowlers. Perhaps, Pakistan has the best bowling attack among the four teams that have qualified for the semis.
Imran Nazir would play a very important role in the match. If he scores runs thick and fast, then it is going to make things difficult for the Sri Lankan bowlers. Apart from Nazir, they have the Akmal brothers and talented left-hander Nasir Jamshed, who has quickly earned a name in international cricket.
Pakistan, the 2009 champions look strong an opposition for the hosts. These two teams know one another's positive and negative points so the team which is able to outthink and outdo the other will reach the finals of the 2012 T20 World Cup.