West Indies vs Sri Lanka: We are almost towards the end of the first leg of the ICC World Cup 2019 and the battle for the 3 semi-final spots has become more intense. Though the top 3 spots clearly indicate which teams will move on as they are only a win away, the fight for the fourth team has become the sight to witness, with as many as 3 teams competing for it, after India lost to England in the previous match, keeping the field still open for England, Pakistan and Bangladesh.
LANKA STILL IN WITH A CHANCE?
Well, Sri Lanka is another team which was hoping for a miracle to happen and they would’ve mathematically still been in contention, provided England lost the match against India. However, as that hope came crashing down, Sri Lanka have barely anything to expect further in this campaign. The 39th match of the ICC World Cup 2019 will see Sri Lanka take on West Indies at the Riverside Ground. The two teams have had quite a similar campaign with absolute disappointing performances. While Sri Lanka have 2 wins to their name in 7 matches, West Indies only have 1. With nothing to lose at this stage for both the teams, this encounter is nothing but a courtesy game for them.
Sri Lanka will look to give it all, who have shown better character on-field than the Windies. Luck has also not favoured Sri Lanka in this tournament, as two of their matches were washed out due to rain. Though both the teams are playing it for pride, it still will be an important game for either side, as they would like to end their campaign on a positive note. Sri Lanka however, can back themselves up, after a convincing win over the hosts England in their previous fixture. However, their happiness was short-lived as South Africa handed them their 3rd loss in the tournament.
West Indies, on the other hand, opened their tournament with a bang, after scoring 421 runs in their warm-up game and winning their first game against Pakistan handsomely. However, that was the only solitary win for them so far. They have been on a losing spree, despite having some of the biggest match-winners like Chris Gayle, Shai Hope and Sheldon Cottrell.
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Sri Lanka and West Indies have faced each other in 56 matches out of which West Indies have won 28 games while Sri Lanka have won 25. The Lankans flipped the tally completely in their favour by winning 4 out of 5 games played, while the Windies only managed to win 1 match. In the world cups, however, West Indies have always posed a great challenge to Sri Lanka. In a total of 8 matches played, Windies won 4 matches while Sri Lanka won 2. One match was washed out to due rain, while the other was forfeited by the West Indies, as their cricket body did not send the team to Sri Lanka, due to tensions in the country. Hence, Sri Lanka were awarded two free-points.
Total Matches: 56
West Indies: 28
Sri Lanka: 25
LAST 4 YEARS (APR 2015 – PRESENT)
Total Matches: 5
West Indies: 1
Sri Lanka: 4
Total Matches: 8
West Indies: 4
Sri Lanka: 2
FORFEIT: 1 (AWARDING THE MATCH TO SRI LANKA)
There is a very slim possibility of mild showers during the course of the game. The skies will be clad in thick clouds, making no room for the sun. The cloud cover is expected to be well over 70%, casting a gloomy shadow across the stadium. The temperature is expected to hover around the 18 degrees Celsius mark, making for great playing conditions. The humidity will be between 50 and 60 per cent throughout the day.
The pitch at Riverside Ground in Chester-le-Street has a reputation of being batsmen’s paradise. The turf may show similar traits in the upcoming game, assisting the batsmen and punishing the bowlers for their simplest errors in line and length. The pitch may mildly support the pacers but on rare occasions. However, this may not be the case in-case the other deck is used.
There are no surprises as to what the team winning the toss, would opt for. The ideal choice considering both sides’ history, and pitch’s nature will be to bat first, set a hefty total and stop the other team from reaching anywhere close to it. West Indian team struggled in their chasing games, while for Lankans, both the matches they won, were while batting first.
The Sri Lankan team may have to make a harsh and much-needed decision, with letting Jeevan Mendis sit this game out. Mendis has failed both with the bat and ball consistently and shown no promise in all of their games so far. It may be a logical decision for Sri Lanka to bring in Jeffrey Vandersay as his replacement. Vandersay can fill in the place of the much-required leg-spinner in the team. Inconsistent batting has been a major worry for the Sri Lankan side. Karunaratne, who came into the tournament as Sri Lanka’s most fierce batsman, failed to put runs in his last two games.
Kusal Perera and Angelo Mathews, have shown promise but will need to be more consistent and push the envelope. Kusal Mendis too will need to rise to the occasion to help his team to victory. The experienced Lasith Malinga has been the torch bearer for Sri Lanka in the bowling department. He has claimed nine wickets so far, which also includes a four-wicket haul. Suranga Lakmal hasn’t been able to pick a wicket in the tournament yet and he will need to step up his game.
PROBABLE XI: Dimuth Karunaratne (C), Kusal Perera (wk), Avishka Fernando, Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Dhananjaya de Silva, Thisara Perera, Jeevan Mendis/Jeffrey Vandersay, Isuru Udana, Suranga Lakmal, Lasith Malinga.
West Indies might look to play with Ashley Nurse, who would most likely be replacing Fabian Allen. Chris Gayle, with two half-centuries in his kitty, still looks clueless in his game plan. He would look to give a good start to the team. Sunil Ambris proved to be a better bet to the team than Evin Lewis, who looked strong against India. Even wicketkeeper Shai Hope still hasn’t fired from all cylinders. As for bowling, Nicholas Pooran and captain Jason Holder haven’t had a great campaign either. It was Sheldon Cottrell, who has been exceptional for the team in terms of bowling. Oshane Thomas is trying his best with his pace but is also giving away a lot of runs. He should look to contain that.
PROBABLE XI: Chris Gayle, Sunil Ambris, Shai Hope (wk), Nicholas Pooran, Shimron Hetmyer, Jason Holder (C), Carlos Brathwaite, Fabian Allen/Ashley Nurse, Kemar Roach, Sheldon Cottrell, Oshane Thomas.
PLAYERS TO WATCH OUT FOR
Sri Lanka– Kusal Perera | Windies — Chris Gayle
FANFIGHT FANTASY CRICKET TEAMS FOR WEST INDIES vs SRI LANKA
TV – Star Sports
Match Timings – 15:00 IST; 10:30 local
The prediction is for the West Indies to win this contest.
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