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Asia Cup: Pakistan, Lanka play for pride in final league game

Mirpur: Ousted from the tournament after morale-crushing defeats against Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Pakistan will lock horns in their inconsequential final round robin encounter of the Asia Cup T20 cricket tournament, here today.

With India set to play hosts Bangladesh in the final, there is only pride at stake for the former and defending World T20 champions.

The sagging spirits were quite evident during the training sessions at Shere Bangla Academy where both teams practised.

The intensity was lacking as the teams went through the motions during two hour session. Sri Lankan captain Lasith Malinga did not practice and was seen roaming around in slippers.

Similarly, the likes of Shahid Afridi, Mohammed Amir did not turn up for training having played a match last night.

Bowling coach Azhar Mahmood defended the team's performance and under fire bowler Mohammed Sami, whose twin no balls cost Pakistan dearly.

"I am the bowling coach and people are asking about no balls being bowled. I do not have a magic wand to change things overnight. Also look at the boy (Sami), he is making a comeback and comebacks are always difficult. There is so much of pressure," Mahmood said.

"It's not that we don't have talent but give them some time. You have to be patient and one win will change it. T20 is a game of momentum and if we win today and couple of games in World T20, things will change," Mahmood said.

Teams (from):
Pakistan: Shahid Afridi (captain), Mohammed Hafeez, Sharjeel Khan, Khurram Manzoor, Umar Akmal, Shoaib Malik, Mohammed Amir, Wahab Riaz, Sarfraz Ahmed (wk), Mohammed Irfan, Mohammed Sami, Mohammed Nawaz, Anwar Ali, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imad Wasim.

Sri Lanka: Lasith Malinga (captain), TM Dilshan, Dinesh Chandimal, Shehan Jayasuriya, Angelo Mathews, Chamara Kapugedara, Nuwan Kulasekara, Dasun Chanaka, Dushmantha
Chameera, Milinda Siriwardana, Rangana Herath, Niroshan Dickwella, Thisara Perera, Jeffrey Vandersay, Sachithra Senanayeke.

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