Cricket Corner by Silly Point
Asia Cup: A preview to the much awaited Final!
The scene is set! After successfully completing the initial rounds within the tournament, we are down to just two teams; Sri Lanka and Pakistan. As Sanath Jayasuriya and Moin Khan lead their gladiators to the Bangabandhu National Stadium, to answer the question we’re all dying to know;
Who will be crowned “Champions of Asia” for the New Millennium? As the tension and excitement mounts to the final on the evening of June 7th, you can be certain that from every boundary struck, to every wicket taken will be caught by our ever-committed Dreamcricket.com team. Howzzatt for bringing non-stop cricket fever to our fantasy cricket captains and fans alike.
Now that we know exactly who is in the final and with Dreamcricket.com’s revolutionary trading desk implemented for added excitement and opportunity for our captains to earn more fantasy money, lets take a closer look at both teams respectively before the big day;
This team came into the tournament with a lot of expectations despite injuries to key players highly strenuous game schedules. They have not disappointed their fans by coasting to the finals with ease.
The drastic changes within the team have left all skeptics and critics startled. Captain Moin Khan has done an outstanding job in bringing together the new breed with the support of a few veterans to create a team worthy of beating the mighty Aussies and Springboks.
Players to watch out for are Yousuf Youhanna and Imran Nazir. Youhanna who has had a tremendous tournament, came up big for the Pakistanis against India and Sri Lanka. Imran Nazir has done exceptionally well with both the bat and ball will be someone to keep an eye on. Moin Khan who has definitely been the solid influence expected from a captain in the tournament and has contributed very competently with the bat is another strong pick.
On the bowling front, Abdur Razzaq and Azhar Mahmood have been the pick of the Pakistani bowlers with Wasim Akram ever present for support.
Two individuals that have kept a low profile have been veterans Saeed Anwar and Inzamam Ul-Haq. I think one of these individuals is waiting to explode, and what better a time than in the final.
The win over the Lankans in the preliminary round gives Pakistan a psychological advantage over them and gives them a good deal of confidence going into the finals.
The Sri Lankans have stormed their way into the finals and despite losing to the Pakistanis in the preliminary round. They topped the Indians and could have easily shifted the balance of cricket power in the Asian Sub-Continent. These may be harsh words but the Lankans have taken risks by making aggressive changes to the team and management and are reaping the benefits.
Although being the underdog coming into the final, the Lankans will thrive on this and with nothing to lose, could very well snatch the Asia Cup from right under the Pakistani’s feet. We do not need to be reminded that this has been done before on several occasions.
On the batting front, Jayasuriya is definitely in prime form seeing his solid performance against the Indians. With Kalu being the best performing wicket keeper for the Asia Cup along with his batting performances down, the order might be a sign to introduce the deadly duo for the final. However, one individual overshadowed by this performance that definitely looks the pick of the Sri Lankan batsmen is Marvin Attapattu. He has performed consistently throughout the course of the tournament and could very much have an anchor role in the final.
On the bowling front, Vaas and KSC De Silva have had a good tournament. With several all-rounders present on the team like Chandana, Arnold and Jayawardene, the Lankans will need a strong performance to break through what has been a solid Pakistani batting line-up.
One thing that definitely needs to be factored in is the Lankan fielding and mental attitude. These facets have proved highly successful for the Lankans and they will have to look to these areas before and during the final to get the result they desire.
With that all said and done, the scene is set in what could be a very exciting final where both teams stand a very good chance of winning. Will the Pakistanis be able to maintain their strong performance and take the Cup? Or will an inspired effort from the Lankans see it otherwise? You can be sure that dreamcricket.com and the captains will be there in heart of the action.