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Stuart Dalgleish 20th Jun 2009 - 21:57

Sri Lanka are bankers to polish off Pakistan

Sri Lanka, 8/11, look great value to beat Pakistan (11/10) in the final of the ICC World Twenty20.

You could argue that South Africa have been the best team of the tournament but no one can deny that the Sri Lankans aren't far behind them.

Kumar Sangakkara's team have been excellent so far in this, the second instalment of the ICC World Twenty20, winning all six games en route to the Lord's showpiece.

Pakistan in contrast have been really inconsistent - the 2007 finalists performed woefully against England in their opening group stage match and never looked like getting anywhere near the hosts total, in the super eights round they were comprehensively beaten by their final opponents Sri Lanka, but then dumped out favourites South Africa in the semi-final.

If Younis Khan is to have any chance of lifting the trophy he'll have to hope Sri Lanka's awesome bowling attack have an off day - Lasith Malinga (11/4 to take the most wickets for Sri Lanka), Ajantha Mendis (11/4) and Muttiah Muralitharan (7/2) have been simply outstanding in Sri Lanka's surge to the final, taking 32 wickets between them.

Even if Sri Lanka's bowlers are off form the worries don't stop there for Younis' side. Opening pair Tillekaratne Dilshan (11/4 to score the most runs for Sri Lanka) and Sanath Jayasuriya (10/3) have smashed home boundaries like they're going out of fashion, Dilshan blasting 12 fours and two sixes in a sensational knock of 96 against West Indies in the semi-final to take his tally for the tournament to 317.

The Pakistanis are capable of posting totals but so far have relied on running between the stumps rather than knocking the ball past the boundary rope.

Captain Younis Khan (4/1 to score the most runs for Pakistan) has led from the front, scoring 172 runs in the competition but only hitting 14 boundaries. Kamran Akmal (7/2 to top the Pakistan scorecard) has fared a little better with boundaries, hitting 18 in six games to rack up 151 runs in the tournament, but nobody has been able to dominate the crease like Dilshan has for Sri Lanka.

The bowling department has been Pakistan's strength in getting to the final; Umar Gul (5/2 to get the most wickets for Pakistan), Shahid Afridi (11/4) and Saeed Ajmal (3/1) have all got into double figures on the wicket-taking front.

Afridi in particular, if he gets going, could hold the key for Pakistan.

After a disastrous start against England where he scored just five runs and was all over the place swinging his bat at anything and everything, he seems to have got better as the tournament has gone on, and is a real dangerman when he's on top form. The allrounder is an 8/1 shot to be named man of the match.

He's picked up 10 wickets altogether and was the star of the show against the Proteas in the semi-final, first of all he posted 51 from just 34 deliveries then dismissed Herschelle Gibbs and AB de Villiers restricting South Africa to 142.

It promises to be a great game so make sure you remember to join us to bet In-Play on a huge range of in-running markets. Start the car!

Pakistan v Sri Lanka - Sunday 15:00


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