Pakistan and Sri Lanka, South Africa and Bangladesh will once again square-off in the second test starting on Friday.
Pakistan v Sri Lanka
Pakistan needs something prominent in order to tame the Lankan lions, who will be more optimistic after winning the first test by 21 runs. Until the final session of day 5, the match was balanced, both the team toiled hard and there wasn’t much to distinguish them. At the end, Pakistan needed only 136 to win but Rangana Herath’s 6 wickets took the game away from them.
Sri Lanka will expect a repeat show from Herath who recently crossed 400 wickets and also became the only bowler to pick 100 wickets against Pakistan. Though Angelo Mathews is ruled out, Dimuth Karunaratne, captain Dinesh Chandimal, Niroshan Dickwella are in a good form.
For Pakistan- Yasir Shah’s spin, Haris Sohail’s vital knock, Azhar Ali’s experienced display are some of the positives but the way they threw their wickets, trying to hit Herath, destroyed their chances. Now, Wahab Riaz might replace Hasan Ali who has issues with his back.
Under the scorching sun, one cannot expect the exhausted players to score fast. This was one of the ‘crawling’ tests, not exactly how the matches are played nowadays.
The second test is to be played under lights, and this is the first time Sri Lanka will play a ‘pink ball’ test. If Sri Lanka wins the test, they will be the first team to win a series at UAE.
Bangladesh v South Africa
Without Shakib-al-Hasan, the Bangladesh team is undeniably vulnerable. In the first test, the home side wasn’t troubled and the game was pretty much one-sided. Right from hefty partnerships to early breakthroughs everything went South Africa’s way.
South Africa provided Bangladesh with a massive total to chase but the visitors were bowled within 90 minutes going into the final day, thanks to Kagiso Rabada and Keshav Maharaj, they seized the win for South Africa. With no Morkel in the second test, the team still look good.
For the visitors, Mominul Haque and Mahmudullah are the two players who at least fought, while others failed. Another major blow-Tamim Iqbal is ruled out of the second test.
The inexperienced visitors are in a need of West Indies’ Shai Hope kind of innings that stunned England with a test win last month.
Bangladesh can still surprise the home side if the senior players like Mushfiqur Rahim take the responsibility. The team also badly need their pacers to step up and do well if they are looking at least for a draw.