Sharjah: With 0-4 down in the five-match one-day series, beleaguered Sri Lanka faces the prospect of an 11th successive ODI loss when they take Pakistan in the fifth and final One-Day International in Sharjah on Monday.
Since its ICC Champions Trophy 2017 triumph in June, Pakistan has won eight straight games and has been unstoppable in limited-overs greens, having overcome the disappointment of losing the preceding Test series to the same opponent 2-0 to open up a 4-0 lead in this series.
Pakistan has previously achieved five clean sweeps, all in series involving five games. It blanked Zimbabwe in 2002-03, Bangladesh in 2003, New Zealand in 2003-04, and Zimbabwe and Bangladesh in the 2008 season.
Pakistan will look to try out more players, with Haris Sohail the only one from the squad who has not featured in this series. But Arthur revealed that a spate of injuries was currently haunting the team.
While Pakistan is enjoying an eight-match winning streak, Sri Lanka will look to avoid an 11th straight loss -- three short of its worst-ever run of 14 defeats in 1987.
Pakistan may be tempted to experiment in this dead rubber. Left-arm quick Usman Khan may get another match after taking 1 for 38 on debut on Friday.
Nic Pothas, the Sri Lanka coach, urged the batsmen to start delivering. "It is pretty obvious. It is not rocket science,” he said, not for the first time during this series. “We just want the batters to be a little more positive about the way they go about things. We also understand we need to be in the right frame of mind to be there.
Having run themselves out of options, Sri Lanka may retain many of the same XI that lost by seven wickets on Friday.
Pakistan: Sarfraz Ahmed (capt & wk), Ahmed Shehzad, Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Hafeez, Babar Azam, Shoaib Malik, Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan, Faheem Ashraf, Hasan Ali, Usman Shinwari, Rumman Raees, Junaid Khan, Haris Sohail and Imam-ul-Haq.
Sri Lanka: Upul Tharanga (capt), Dinesh Chandimal, Niroshan Dickwella (wk), Lahiru Thirimanne, Kusal Mendis, Milinda Siriwardana, Chamara Kapugedara, Thisara Perera, Seekuge Prasanna, Nuwan Pradeep, Suranga Lakmal, Dushmantha Chameera, Vishwa Fernando, Akila Dananjaya and Jeffrey Vandersay.
Pitch and conditions
Sharjah surfaces are rarely conducive to scores of more than 300, but are not overtly biased towards the bowlers either.
Stats and trivia
Monday October 23, 2017 (d/n)
Start time 1400 local (1000 GMT)