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Pakistan thrill against Sri Lanka efficiency

After his team had narrowly beaten India, Angelo Mathews said Sri Lanka "do those little things right". In a tournament full of rash shots and missed opportunities on the field, Sri Lanka have committed fewer basic errors than all the other sides. It goes quite a way towards explaining their unbeaten record in the tournament so far.

Pakistan, on the other hand, threw away a winning position against Sri Lanka. They were 117 for 6 against Afghanistan thanks to the shot selection of their top order. Misbah-ul-Haq has twice been run out in comical fashion. Against Bangladesh, Abdur Rehman was barred from bowling when he had figures of 0-0-8-0. And yet, despite all that, Pakistan may well start the final as favourites.

After meeting each other in the opening game of the tournament, the two sides have taken divergent paths to the final. Sri Lanka, to put it a touch simplistically, have gone quietly about their business. Pakistan, on the other hand, have built up the sort of momentum that comes with winning thrilling matches. When you beat India by one wicket and chase 327 in your next game, you tend to believe you can win from any position.

Pakistan's batsmen, after an uncertain start to the tournament, have also found form. There's Shahid Afridi, of course, but there's also Mohammad Hafeez, who has scored half-centuries in his last two games, Ahmed Shehzad, who made a century against Bangladesh, and Fawad Alam, whose return to the side suddenly gave Pakistan someone who could hold their middle order together. It's almost a good thing for Pakistan, perversely, that Misbah, the man who usually does that job for them, has scored 0, 1 and 4 in the matches they have won.

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