The next leg of the ever increasing phenomenon of day-night Test matches begins in Dubai on Friday when Pakistan and Sri Lanka finish their Test series under the lights. Already it is a shame this series is consisting of just two games because the first was an absolute epic.
After a match which contained plenty of twists and turns Sri Lanka secured a remarkable win to guarantee a share of the series. Pakistan will need to answer in kind in this second game if they are to level it heading into the ODIs.
Everything looked to be going swimmingly for Pakistan in the first Test. They ticked almost every box you need to tick to win a Test match. They bowled well in the first innings and then put up significant runs when it was their first time to bat. After skittling Sri Lanka to set up a meagre looking run chase it all went wrong.
Pakistan’s batting demons returned at the worst possible moment and a match they had worked so hard to get into a position to win soon got away from them. This will be a test of their resolve and their character as they look to get back on terms in the final match of the series. All eyes will be on their batting especially if they have another tiny run chase.
Given that they went into the series at something of their lowest point in their history you have to give all the credit in the world to the heart and fight that Sri Lanka showed in that first match and in the end they fully deserved their victory. They might not have been the best side throughout the match but they never gave in and there is a lesson in that.
If Sri Lanka can add a little bit of quality at the right moments on top of that heart and fight that they showed then they are entitled to feel that they will be tough to beat in this second match. Consistency is something that has been lacking for Sri Lanka for far too long though so this will be a real big test for them.
Hasan Ali has reported lame with a back problem which is going to force him to miss this match. Wahab Riaz is likely to replace him in what is expected to be the only change despite the defeat in the first game.
Sri Lanka are going to be without Angelo Mathews once again while Lahiru Thirimanne has been ruled out of this match also. That is another blow to them but it will give the chance for someone else to deliver.
Dubai International Cricket Stadium
This will be Test match number 11 to be held on this ground. Pakistan have a strong 6-2 record with a couple of draws in the previous ten matches while Sri Lanka have a win and a loss from their two matches at this venue.
As ever in the UAE the wicket is expected to be good for batting and will turn later in the match. The question mark will be how the pink ball reacts under lights and we’ll only really know the answer to that once we have seen it in action.
I’m not going to get too jiggy in this match. I think Pakistan will level the series. More often than not Pakistan would have won the opening match so I don’t think there is a need to desert them just yet, especially when consistency is not Sri Lanka’s strongest suit.
I would imagine Pakistan will be extra fired up in this match after the way they lost the first game and that fire combined with what looks a much stronger side on paper can lead the hosts to levelling the series with the win they need.
Back Pakistan to win 2nd Test for a 4/10 stake at 1.80 with BetVictor