Pakistan and Sri Lanka meet in the first semi-final of ICC World Twenty20 on Thursday with both teams knowing there is no more room for any further let offs.
The two teams reached semi-finals in contrasting styles, and both have the flair as well as the ability to book a seat for the Sunday’s final.
Sri Lanka, the hosts, have been in sparkling form with three wins in the Super Eights. Their only blemish so far has been the defeat against South Africa in the rain-shortened group fixture but the Proteas are out of the tournament now.
Sri Lanka will be hoping that the home ground comes to their advantage as they look to avenge their loss to Pakistan in the World T20 final three years ago. In their last match against England, they played a smart move by appointing Kumar Sangakkara the captain and thereby saving Mahela Jayawardene from a possible suspension.
The experts though have been critical of the move saying it is against the spirit of the sport. There will be no shortage of spirit on Thursday though with Akila Dananjaya a possible surprise package for the opposing batsmen.
Pakistan are once again in the semi-finals - making them the only side to reach semi-finals of all four World T20s to date - and once again they made it through courtesy of other results going their way.
A clinical win over Australia would no doubt have raised the confidence in the dressing room and Mohammad Hafeez appeared positive about the team’s chances.
While Saeed Ajmal has always been talked as the main threat, it has been Raza Hassan who has sneaked his way through as well with four crucial wickets in the Super Eight matches.
The match starts at 7.00pm local time in front of a capacity crowd. To date, the teams have played in nine T20 internationals with Pakistan winning six of them.