Sri Lanka v Pakistan
Friday 9 August, 15.00
TV: Live on Sky 177
Pakistan could choose to experiment in this dead rubber. The sides meet in the final on Sunday. They may want to give Haider Ali, the batter, or Usman Qadir, the spinner, a run out.
More likely is that they tweak the batting order, specifically moving Fakhar Zaman to open with Mohammad Rizwan. Babar Azam has endured a torrid tournament and it has unsettled Pakistan a little that they have gone without their normal solid opening starts.
Naseem Shah, fresh from his incredible hitting at the death to beat Afghanistan, forms a youthful new-ball pairing with Mohammad Hasnain.
Possible XI: Rizwan, Fakhar, Babar, Iftikhar, Shadab, Nawz, Asif, Khushdil, Naseem, Rauf, Hasnain
Sri Lanka may not play fast and loose with momentum. We expect them to be unchanged as they seek precious confidence and rare victories.
They benefitted from the toss bias to knock out India last time but, in truth, they showed in the World Cup they are a gung-ho batting line-up. From the top order to the lower they have a real go.
Kusal Mendis and Bhanuka Rajapaksa are both striking at more than 150. Skip Dasun Shanaka is in the 140s.
Probable XI: Nissanka, Kusal, Asalanka, Gunathilaka, Rajapaksa, Shanaka, Hasaranga, Karunaratne, Theekshana, Madushanka, Asitha
Before a ball was bowled in this tournament we advised a 2.5-point level-stakes strategy of backing the chaser at Dubai. It has paid off handsomely, returning big profits although we put a stop on it for India-Afghanistan until further notice.
That continues for this game. Seventeen of the last 18 in Dubai have been won by the chaser. The innings par line may be at mid 160s for Sri Lanka and that could be a buy. Bet the runs here.
How to play
This is a dead rubber so we're not hugely bothered about playing big. Pakistan are as short as 1.558/15 with Sri Lanka 2.77.
The strategy is clear for those playing. Back Sri Lanka if they chase. We don't expect the price to shift that much - if at all - if the flip goes their way.
Another ploy is to wait until the break. We would expect Sri Lanka to be around 4.507/2 going after 170-180. Pakistan might be around 3.505/2 for something similar. The match odds are here
Babar Azam has been boosted to 13/5 by Sportsbook for top Pakistan bat. Mohammad Nawaz is a price at 45s. He has been promoted this series and is in great touch. For Sri Lanka, Bhanuka Rajapaka is possibly underrated at 7/1. Bet the Sportsbook markets here.