New Delhi: Sri Lanka and Pakistan will be embroiled in a battle to finish third in the ongoing Asia Cup Twenty20 tournament on Friday, being held at the Shere Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur, Dhaka.
Both the cricketing powerhouses haven't impressed in the tournament and will look to go out on a high nonetheless.
Pakistan have been short on flow with their batting and the inexperience has told in all the games they have played so far in Dhaka. Their bowling has been good and the pacers have chipped in well, but with lack of runs on the board, it hasn't quite gone on for them.
Sri Lanka on the other hand have faced similar issues with lack of runs upfront in the batting. The Lankans have performed well on patches but the overall standard is still below par.
Both sides have only beaten United Arab Emirates in the coveted tourney and lost to Bangladesh and India comprehensively. That has highlighted a story of the inferiority they possess.
Here are the two players we look at from each side respectively.
Shoaib Malik (Pakistan): Malik has been the only shining light in a depleted looking Pakistan side especially with the bat. The experienced campaigner played a solid hand against UAE and Bangladesh and was vital for the side in the middle order. Malik's confidence has been flowing and he has featured in a role for his side in a similar manner, that Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni has done over time. Malik will look to get some vitality for his side once again and come out strong.
Thisara Perera (Sri Lanka): The Lankan all-rounder needs to come out to bat at a higher position than his usual order right now. Perera's ability to get quick runs and hit lusty blows would be essential for his side, as the batters upfront haven't fired of late. His role as a bowler in between overs too will be the key in seaming the ball and using the conditions well.