Pakistan wins toss, elects to field first
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Pakistan captain Mohammad Hafeez won the toss and elected to field first against world No. 1 Sri Lanka in the first Twenty20 international on Wednesday.
The 19-year-old left-arm fast bowler Usman Khan Shinwari, who impressed in the recent Pakistan Twenty20 tournament, will make his international debut.
Pakistan, No. 4 in the rankings, could topple Sri Lanka from No. 1 if it wins the two-match series 2-0.
In the absence of experienced batsman Mahela Jayawardene, Sri Lanka will be banking on the experience of Tillakaratne Dilshan and Kumar Sangakkara.
Sri Lanka also fielded its first-choice fast bowlers Lasith Malinga and Nuwan Kulasekara with unorthodox spinner Ajantha Mendis.
Jayawardene will skip the series after he was given paternity leave by Sri Lanka Cricket.
Both teams lined up and observed a minute of silence before the start of the match in memory of former South African president Nelson Mandela, who died last week.
Sri Lanka: Dinesh Chandimal (captain), Tillakaratne Dilshan, Kusal Perera, Kumar Sangakkara, Angelo Mathews, Lahiru Thirimanne, Thisara Perera, Nuwan Kulasekara, Lasith Malinga, Sachithra Senanayake, Ajantha Mendis.
Pakistan: Mohammad Hafeez (captain), Ahmed Shehzad, Sharjeel Khan, Sohaib Maqsood, Umar Amin, Umar Akmal, Shahid Afridi, Bilawal Bhatti, Sohail Tanvir, Saeed Ajmal, Usman Khan Shinwari.