Mathews reveals last-minute decisions

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Captain Angelo Mathews basked in a couple of late changes, as Sri Lanka trumped Pakistan by two wickets in Friday's second ODI at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.

Captain Angelo Mathews basked in a couple of late changes, as Sri Lanka trumped Pakistan by two wickets in Friday's second ODI at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.

Injury to batsman Lahiru Thirimanne saw the inexperienced Dimuth Karunaratne drafted into the XI, while all-rounder Nuwan Kulasekara was selected ahead of seamer Suranga Lakmal.

The veteran Kumar Sangakkara, in the absence of former captain Mahela Jayawardene, who will not feature in this five-match series due to family reasons, top-scored for the Sri Lankans.

Kulasekara clinched a key wicket and put in a complementary cameo down the order, while Sangakkara welcomed an authoritative half-century – before Dimuth Karunaratne was at hand to strike some of the final runs.

"Thirimanne got injured a few minutes before the match, but we had been planning for him to bat at number three. We thought we needed a solid batsman at three, and Kumar would move down to four, and then we've got Dinesh Chandimal. The more you keep wickets in hand, the easier it is to chase later in the match," said Mathews

"We don't have Mahela in the team, so the experience of someone like Kumar becomes invaluable when you are dealing with high-quality spinners like Saeed Ajmal and Shahid Afridi, and you want to control the middle overs. We didn't want to make big changes, but we thought it would have been good to play Kumar at number four.

"Kulasekara is a very good player, but in Sharjah we thought an extra fast bowler would be good. Kulasekara, Thisara Perera and myself bowl roughly in the same style. The Sharjah field is very small and the pitch is also very good for batting. We thought there would be some reverse swing, so that's why we called up Suranga then."

The third ODI will get underway at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Sunday. The Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi will host fixtures four and five.

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