Last day of the series

The Pakistan v Sri Lanka series is shaping up for an exciting finish. Sri Lanka are 164-5 at stumps on the fourth day. (They ought to be six down, but a run out in the 52nd over was not given by the Third Umpire in odd circumstances.) Sri Lanka’s lead is 237 and they don’t have a lot of batting left. Sri Lanka will need at least fifty more runs to set up a declaration, but they won’t be able to score them very quickly with the tail. If Sri Lanka can set Pakistan 300 to win there should be about two sessions left and a draw would be the most likely result. Sri Lanka would probably want more than that, but they have to win the match to salvage a draw in the series. It makes for an interesting decision for Dilshan. I doubt that he will want to give Pakistan much less than 300 to chase, but anything more makes it very, very hard to force a victory. Sri Lanka may be able to get away with a more aggressive declaration since Pakistan have little to gain by chasing victory. An overnight declaration would be a statement of intent and make probably ensure some sort of positive result, albeit most likely a Pakistan victory. I would like to see Dilshan take that risk, since Sri Lanka have little to gain from a draw, but I don’t think that’s likely. Unfortunately I think Dilshan will probably bat deep and take the 0-1 defeat.

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