Pakistan won the toss and elected to bat in the third one-day international here at the R.Premadasa stadium. Mohammad Hafiz faced the first ball from Lasith Malinga and the rain came down, quite heavily.
Play has been suspended. With the rain coming down in torrents, it is certain that more than an hour of play will be lost.
34-year-old left-arm spinner Sanjeeva Weerakoon, who spent the better part of the last decade in the shadow of Sri Lankan spinners Muthiah Muralidaran, Rangana Herath and Ajantha Mendis, finally donned the country’s colours on Wednesday, when the team took on Pakistan in the third ODI at the R.Premadasa stadium here. That story is close to that the Indian spinner Rajinder Goel!
Herath has to be careful after his recent surgery and the team management decided to rest him mid-way through the series, said captain Mahela Jayawardene. He is not available for the rest of series, making way for Sanjeeva.
The five match one-day series is tied 1-1.
Pakistan has injury worries too. Mohammad Sami did bowl at the nets on Monday and Tuesday, but he was not included in the final eleven. Pakistan captain, Misbah-ul-Haq said on Tuesday that Shahid Afridi developed a stomach problem. He is fit and is in the team.
Pakistan actually has more than injury worries. Misbah nodded in agreement when it was suggested that ‘bad’ was too kind a word to describe the side’s fielding so far. He said that the team has been working on it for the past few days too. The middle and lower middle order batting has been brittle, and Misbah pointed to this as a worrying aspect.
Sri Lanka is much better placed: Dilshan is back among the runs, and Mahela feels it is only a matter of time before Kumar Sangakkara too gets going. He is pleased with the performance of Thisara Perera, who has stepped up to the challenge with both the bat and the ball in the past few outings. Mahela said that having two all-rounders (Perera and Anjelo Mathews) gave the team greater flexibility.
Sri Lanka (from): Mahela Jayawardene (Captain), T.M. Dilshan, Kumar Sangakkara, Dinesh Chandimal, Angelo Mathews, Lahiru Thirimanne, Thisara Perera, Nuwan Kulasekera, Lasith Malinga, Sanjeeva Weerakoon, and Upul Tharanga.
Pakistan (from): Mohammad Hafeez, Younis Khan, Misbah-ul-Haq (Captain), Umar Akmal, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Shahid Afridi, Umar Gul, Saeed Ajmal, Asad Shafiq, Azhar Ali, and Sohail Tanvir.