Paceman Umar Gul hopes Pakistan can clinch the One-Day International (ODI) series against Sri Lanka when the teams meet in the fourth match in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday.
“It’s important to win the series in the fourth match so that we don’t have to wait for the final game,” said Gul, who registered match figures of three for 19 in the third one-day.
“Our team is doing well in batting and bowling and the momentum is with us so we will definitely go for a kill.”
Gul made a comeback to the national team after nine months on the sidelines. The pacer went through a knee surgery in Australia and was brought back after a string of impressive performances in the domestic first-class and limited-over tournaments in Pakistan.
He claimed two wickets in his opening spell in Sunday’s match and finished the match off by bowling out fast bowler Lasith Malinga.
The Islanders currently trail 2-1 in the five-match series and hope to bounce back in what is a do-or-die tie for them.
Pakistan had also won the first match in Sharjah by 11 runs last week before Sri Lanka tied the series by winning the second by two wickets in Dubai.
Mathews tells team-mates to remain positive
Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews urged his team to remain positive in their quest to level the ongoing series.
Mathews said his team must play their natural game if they were to have any hope of bouncing back in the series.
“We have nothing to lose,” said Mathews. “We just have to go out there and express ourselves and be confident to try and win. We need to stay positive to win.”
He also praised the bowling and batting of Pakistan.
“We all know that Pakistan have got good batsmen and also bowlers and they have a pretty good balanced team so we must try and take them on and try and win the game,” he said.
“The wicket [for the third one-day game] was absolutely brilliant for batting on and we actually thought we could have chased it, but we couldn’t and now we will think about our strategies and go ahead.”
Pakistan batted first in all three games, the last two they were sent into bat by Sri Lanka. The fifth and final match will be played in Abu Dhabi on Friday, where Pakistan recently lost both ODIs against South Africa.
The ODI series will be followed by a three-match Test series, with the first Test starting on December 31.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 25th, 2013.
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