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Pakistan eyes comeback in third ODI

Visiting side will have to deal with Hafeez not bowling, while Sri Lanka is on a high after victory in second game

Pakistan eyes comeback in third ODI - Cricket News
Sri Lanka will be buoyed by the form of Kusal Perera, although it will expect more consistent performances from him.
Pakistan and Sri Lanka are set to resume their rivalry at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on Sunday (July 19), as each looks to take the lead in the third match of what has been an evenly contested One-Day International series so far.  

However, Pakistan will go into Sunday's with the knowledge that Mohammad Hafeez won't be allowed to bowl. Hafeez, who was reported for the second time for a suspect action following the first Test, was on Friday suspended from bowling in international cricket for a year after an independent assessment of his action. With the allrounder having taken a career-best 4 for 41 in the first ODI, to go with 2 for 61 in the second, his absence with the ball for this five-match series will be a considerable blow. 

Pakistan, now at No. 9 in the ICC rankings in ODIs and for whom an ICC Champions Trophy 2017 berth is at stake, are looking to return to winning ways, having allowed Sri Lanka to draw level at 1-1 with a two-wicket win in Pallekele. With the momentum shifting several times during the tour, it showed the ability to bounce back during the Tests, and will hope that is an attitude mirrored by its one-day side.   

The side did show glimpses of that in the first ODI, with Mohammad Rizwan showcasing his aggression with the bat, and the bowlers doing well to pull things back after Kusal Perera's early onslaught to ensure a tense finish. 

Sri Lanka, for its part, will be buoyed by the form of Perera, who smashed the second-fastest ODI fifty, off just 17 balls, to set up a successful chase of Pakistan's 278 for 8. It will, however, expect more consistent performances from him.  

Sri Lanka's middle order has been a cause for concern of late. With the team trying to rebuild in the absence of legends Kumara Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene in the line-up, the management is keen on keeping faith in the players despite some patchy performances and allowing them to build confidence. 

Sachith Pathirana didn't quite have a memorable debut but impressed with his cameo in Sri Lanka's chase, coming in under pressure, and he would be one of those Mathews is likely to retain faith in.

The teams will play two Twenty20 Internationals after the ODI series. 

Teams (from):
Sri Lanka:
Kusal Perera, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Lahiru Thirimanne, Upul Tharanga, Angelo Mathews (capt), Dinesh Chandimal (wk), Thisara Perera, Milinda Siriwardana, Seekkuge Prasanna, Lasith Malinga, Suranga Lakmal, Nuwan Pradeep, Ashan Priyanjan, Sachithra Senanayake, Sachith Pathirana.

Pakistan: Azhar Ali (capt), Ahmed Shehzad, Mohammad Hafeez, Babar Azam, Shoaib Malik, Mohammad Rizwan, Sarfraz Ahmed (wk), Anwar Ali, Yasir Shah, Rahat Ali, Mohammad Irfan, Asad Shafiq, Mukhtar Ahmed, Bilal Asif, Immad Wasim, Ehsan Adil.

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