Lankan having edge over Pakistan believes Pak skipper

KARACHI: Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik believes Sri Lanka will be at an advantage in their three-match one-day series starting Tuesday because it has played more recently.

Pakistan has played just three one-day internationals against the West Indies since hosting the Asia Cup last June, while Sri Lanka has hosted India and played Zimbabwe and Bangladesh in the past six months since successfully defending its Asia Cup title.

"They have an advantage of playing more international cricket and have greater confidence levels than us," Malik said Monday.

After back-to-back matches in Karachi on Tuesday and Wednesday, the last match will be played in Lahore on Saturday.

Pakistan played the West Indies at a neutral venue in the United Arab Emirates last November because foreign teams'' security reservations over traveling to Pakistan forced the ICC to postpone the Champions Trophy in September for a year.

Sri Lanka accepted the Pakistan Cricket Board''s offer to tour and later return for two tests in February after India canceled its tour in the wake of terrorist attacks in Mumbai in which at least 164 people died. India believes Pakistani citizens were involved.

"It''s good that at least we are playing some cricket at home," Malik said.

Malik concedes that Sri Lanka has the best spin attack in the world with Ajantha Mendis and Muttiah Muralitharan, but believes his batting lineup can cope.

"I think Pakistan plays better against Mendis than any other team in the world," Malik said. "We have a game-plan for the series."