Former champions Pakistan and hosts Sri Lanka clash in the first semi-final of the World Twenty20 in Colombo on Thursday, banking on the quality spinners in the two camps. The pre-match focus revolved around Sri Lanka's unorthodox spinner Ajantha Mendis and Pakistan's prolific Saeed Ajmal, both of whom have been the highest wicket-takers for their respective teams in the competition.
But while the spinners from both sides continued to make headlines in the run up to game today, one feels it will be the batsmen from either side who will play the 'game-changing' role at the Premadasa.
Stick around as Dawn.com brings all the action, analysis and multimedia from the epic Pakistan-Sri Lanka clash in Colombo.
Readers are invited to be share their input and analysis, set the field, live commentate, share pictures, predict the outcome of the match. Have your say as Pakistan takes on Sri Lanka in what promises to be a cracking semi-final showdown.
T20 specialist bowler Dirk Nannes tells BBC’s Test Match Special:
"We didn't know which Pakistan team would turn up today - if it would be the free-flowing, high-scoring Pakistan, or the one that keeps playing and missing, and playing strange shots."
OVER! Umar Akmal hits a four off the penultimate ball but it comes too late. The second last over from Malinga was enough to make it impossible for Pakistan. Sri Lanka now await the winners of the Australia-West Indies match tomorrow.
Two dot balls. Umar Akmal misses a chance on the second ball with a big heave.
Kulasekara bowls the last over.
Great second last over from Malinga. Only four runs scored and a missed run out chance.
Last two overs. 27 needed. Umar Akmal to face Malinga and Umar Gul on non-striker's end.
WICKET! Tanvir tries to heave Mendis over the leg side, gets way out of his crease and an easy stumping for Sanagakkara. Pakistan seven down. Umar Gul in now. REQUIRED: 27 off 14
Last three overs now. Pakistan need 32 from them. Malinga has one over left. Mathews and Herath are done. Kulasekara has two left, Mendis one.
Sohail Tanvir goes for it against Lasith Malinga. Hits in the air over the leg side and the ball races away for four. REQUIRED: 35 off 20
WICKET - Afridi goes first ball! Arm-ball from Herath and it crashes straight into the stumps. Afridi should have been forward to that one! Game with Sri Lanka now!
WICKET - Hafeez loses the plot, jumps down the wicket and misses Herath completely. Easy stumping for Sangakkara!
BOUNDARY - Umar Akmal cuts Mendis through point for four!
BOUNDARY - 12 runs of that Herath over! First a reverse sweep from Hafeez that fetches the captain a four and then a six! Malinga dropped a sitter in the last over. It was Hafeez. Will it prove costly?
WICKET - Herath gets his first one! How many more will he get? He fancies Pakistan a bit! Malik outdone by a great ball that pitched on a good length and spun sharply hitting off!
WICKET - Nothing wrong with this one. Mathews completely deceives Kamran Akmal with his slower one. Kamran was 15-minutes early into that stroke! Simple catch for short mid wicket.
WICKET - Mathews traps Nasir Jamshed in front, the batsman, tried to play across the line to that one and completely missed! Replays show the ball pitched way outside leg!
Herath now on. How Pakistan play him will be key to their chances.
BOUNDARY - Hafeez gets one in the middle! Pakistan 48/1 in 8.
Sajid Hussain from India says: "Sri Lanka should not try to take the wicket of Hafeez. He is the key man for both Pakistan and SL. If he stays for 20 overs then Pak may not even reach 80…..haha."
WICKET - No relief for Pakistan though as Mendis strikes with his very next ball. Again, a confused mindset from the batsman neither forward nor back, and the ball eventually trickles onto the stumps!