(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) With not much time to recover from the loss, Sri Lanka will face Pakistan in the must-win third one-day match at Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday.
Sri Lanka failed to chase 220 runs on Monday but can take heart from skipper Upul Tharanga's gritty hundred. The Lankans had Pakistan on the mat at 101 for six but then Babar Azam and Shadad Khan did the rescue act to make it 2-0 in the five-match ODI series.
So far this year, Sri Lanka have lost 18 matches out of 23, which doesn't mean five wins as one against Bangladesh in Dambulla was a no-result. The Lankans are also on a nine-match losing streak.
Sri Lanka have an array of all-rounders and spinners to end this rout. All they need is more than one batsman to come good on the day.
Batting coach Hashan Tillakaratne accepted the target of 220 was a getable one and it was poor batting that let the team down. The next highest score after Tharanga's 112 was spinner Jeffrey Vandersay's 22 coming at No. 9. Worse, seven players were out in single digit scores, including two run outs.
"It has been very disappointing and happening in the last nine one-day matches. We are finding a remedy for this. I am sure the boys are also aware of the situation. I am sure we will come back strongly in the third one-day match. Batsmen need to get their act together. They have skills and talent. It is just that attitude wise they need to get their act together," Tillakaratne noted.
Tillakaratne remains hopeful of a positive result. "The series is still open. We need to rectify our mistakes and come back strongly."
Meanwhile, a young Pakistan side turned over a new leaf after Test defeats. On Monday, it was an all-round performance from Shadab Khan that led Pakistan to a comfortable victory.
The modest youngster attributed the win as a team effort.
"I play as an all-rounder and try to contribute with bat and ball. Our fielders encouraged me throughout," the 19-year-old said.
He noted that dew is a factor while bowling and Abu Dhabi pitch is a slow one. It is an interesting match on hand as one team look to end their losing run and keep series alive, whereas Pakistan will be eyeing a series wrap before heading to Sharjah for final two one-day matches.