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Form, fitness concern for Pak, Sri Lanka

With both the Asian giants set for a Saturday face-off in what would be the biggest match of an otherwise lopsided tournament so far, the teams are as eager as the fans. Amol Karhadkar reports.

india Updated: Feb 25, 2011 01:26 IST
Amol Karhadkar

More than the two warm-up games, Pakistan and Sri Lanka got valuable match practice in their Cup openers against associate members.

While Sri Lanka made short work of Canada on Sunday, Pakistan thumped Kenya on Wednesday to put an end to the Hambantota leg of the Cup matches.

With both the Asian giants set for a Saturday face-off in what would be the biggest match of an otherwise lopsided tournament so far, the teams are as eager as the fans.

"Over the last two to three years, Sri Lanka have been consistent and in home conditions, they are a tough side to beat," vice-captain Misbah-ul-Haq said after the team returned to Colombo on Thursday. "We've played a lot against them and understand each other's games well."

Though Sri Lankan middle order batsman Chamara Kapugedera echoed Misbah's views after a light fielding session at the R Premadasa Stadium, both camps have cause for concern.

While Pakistan would be hoping that opening batsmen, Mohammad Hafeez and Ahmed Shahzad, who struggled against a mediocre Kenyan attack, get going on Saturday, Sri Lanka are worried over pace spearhead Lasith Malinga's fitness.