Friday, February 25, 2011

The Game of Group A?

Pakistan and Sri Lanka are a pair of less celebrated rivals in the game of cricket but when the two come out onto the field, there is a certain electrification to the atmosphere that is unique only to a Pakistan vs. Sri Lanka game.

Many label Saturday’s encounter as the ‘The Game of Group A’, partly because of the fact that these teams are very accustomed to each other and the conditions and are on level terms in the recent past; of the 16 ODIs played between these two since 2006, each side have won 8.

Pakistan can be labeled as Sri Lanka’s true nemesis in terms of destroying their ‘unorthodox factor’; they are the ones that give the least wickets to their most successful bowler, Murlitharan, they are the ones that often take Malinga to the cleaners, they are the ones who, first, pulled the cloak of obscurity off the mystery-man Mendis, in short Pakistan thrives against the unorthodoxy of the Lankans but falls to their quotidian.

Of the 120 times the two faced since 1975, Pakistan won 70 of the encounters and Sri Lanka remained successful in 46 of them (1 was tie and 3 were No Result) and of the 6 times they met at the WorldCup, Pakistan stood victorious in all of them. However stats mean little when you are playing in front of your fervent home crowd and the noisy support can be something that has the potential to really extract the best out of you.

Meanwhile, R Premadasa, the intimidating stadium in the South is ready to be a battlefield; witness to the clash of the two subcontinental titans. Blood will not be spilled but the ferocity, alone, will be enough to keep your heart hammering against your chest. Sri Lanka is gearing up to it, Pakistan is bubbling with excitement and one can only hope that the game is worth the hype. 

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