Saturday, July 25, 2009

Match Box (Pak. vs Sl. 1st ODI)



Rangiri Dambulla Stadium is the name. Built on a picturesque location in the North Central Province, this 16000 (apx.) capacity ground is amidst the test-hosting grounds of the world since 2000. One of the very few cricket grounds in Sri Lanka with floodlights installed.

With a lush green outfield on which the ball travels like a bullet, there is some surprise in knowing that most of the ODI matches played here had been quite low scoring, with the average first innings score of 198. In the 26 ODI matches played here so far, the team batting first has won 12 times while the team chasing a target have won 14 times. So pretty much balanced record here.

The pitch seems to help the fast bowlers initially due to the moisture provided by the high water table, which is there due to the proximity to the Dambulla Reservoir, but then the spinners come into play as the pitch deteriorates during play and the moistness is taken away by the scorching sun.

Above: A general view of RD Stadium, showing the immense play area and lush outfield.
Above: This photo shows the stands of the RD Stadium, with a beautiful peak in the backdrop.




Pakistan has so far played 5 ODIs here, winning only two of them. The highest total scored by Pakistan was 203 while the lowest one stands at 116.

Sri Lanka:

Sri Lanka had been on 21 outings here since 2000. Emerging victorious in 13 games, with the highest total of 282 and the lowest total they could muster was 120.




  • Imran Nazir
  • Nasir Jamshed\Shoaib Malik
Two specialist openers are a must on this track, specially if you are batting first. But if Younus khan gets into friendships then Malik is bound to be here in place of any of these two.
  • Kamran Akmal
  • Misbah-ul-Haq
  • Mohammad Yousuf
  • Younus Khan
  • Shahid Afridi
This middle order is very strong, and should be strong, keeping in eye the constant collapses on this ground. Moreover Kamran and Misbah gel together very well because of their varied styles of play, which makes the opposition a bit nervous in field positioning (as seen in the final ODI against Australia in Abu Dhabi (May 2009)). Younus can also send Afridi up the order during PP or keep him a bit lower for the Batting PP. Well, I am not in favour of Younus to come ahead of the position specified above, considering his bad form with the bat.
  • Abdul Razzaq\Rana Naveed
  • Mohammad Amir
  • Umar Gul
  • Saeed Ajmal
Medium-pacers have been a handful on this track so Abdul Razzaq gets a place in our lower middle/tail area. Umar Gul is there for the middle overs while Amir should share the new ball with Razzaq. Ajmal and Afridi are the ones to keep a lookout for as this pitch goes well with spin later on. I won't be surprised if Younus himself bowls and gets some wickets. If Younus is adventurous enough he might swap Razzaq with Rana.


The above overview holds true for the 2nd and 3rd ODI as well!!

Stats Source:

Photo (c) AFP


1 comment:

Sharif Ahmad said...

well written young guy...
hope u go well like this and who knows someday u may b the part of our team...

but i do disagree with you on bringing Yousuf at number 5...he requires time to settle down and eats up many deliveries while doing so. He should be at least at #4.


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