With just seven of the 45 round robin matches remaining in 2019 World Cup (WC), the ICC mathematicians are currently working through all the permutations as to who can qualify for the four coveted places in the semi-finals. Although a long shot, one of the countries still in contention is Sri Lanka (as of Sunday) who take on the West Indies in match #39 at Chester-le-Street in Durham on Monday.
The Lankans (W2, L3, NR2) have had some tough luck in the tournament to date having had two of their matches abandoned through inclement weather. Notwithstanding their luck, they have been far too inconsistent in the matches they have completed and have been unable to string together a winning sequence (LWLWL).
Having beaten the tournament favourites and hosts England by 20 runs in their penultimate match, they come into this match on the back of a heavy nine-wicket defeat at the hands of South Africa. The ‘Lions’ scored just 203 in their 50 overs with eight of their batsmen making double figures, but the highest scoring just 30. In reply, the Proteas chased the runs down with 76 balls remaining and for the loss of just one wicket.
As a team they have had just five scores of fifty plus with the bat and taken only 25 wickets in their five matches, and stats like those are not good enough to win any WC. There is talent in the team with both bat and ball, yet their biggest problem has been that they just haven’t got it together as a unit.
The Windies (W1, L5, NR1) come into this match on the back of a monumental 125-run defeat against India at Old Trafford last Thursday. Having done well to restrict India to 268/7 with Kemar Roach picking up 3/36 off his ten, they didn’t have the technique or resolve to keep out the Indian pacemen and were skittled out for just 143. Sunil Ambris top scored with 31 off 40 balls but the less said about the others the better.
The ‘Men in Maroon’, twice winners of this tournament in 1975 and 1979, were a dark horse at the onset of this tournament. However their strength lies in the immense fire-power in their batting line-up, but that just hasn’t ignited often enough for them. With just one win from seven matches to date, they have had a WC to forget.
Probable Playing XI
SL Predicted XI: Angelo Mathews, Suranga Lakmal, Isuru Udana, Thisara Perera, Jeevan Mendis, Dhananjaya de Silva, Dimuth Karunaratne (c), Kusal Perera (wk), Kusal Mendis, Avishka Fernando, Lasith Malinga.
WI Predicted XI: Chris Gayle, Kemar Roach, Carlos Brathwaite, Jason Holder (c), Sunil Ambris, Sheldon Cottrell, Nicholas Pooran, Fabian Allen, Shimron Hetmyer, Shai Hope (wk), Oshane Thomas
SL vs WI – Players to watch out for
Shimron Hetmeyer (WI) has scored two fifties and has a SR of 102.72. If he can stay at the crease long enough he can do some serious damage with the bat.
Avishka Fernando (SRI) has had just two knocks but has shown he can wield the willow in a classy manner with 79 runs at a SR of 116.18.
Dimuth Karunaratne has captained the Lions in just six ODIs and won the toss twice (33.33%), compared to Jason Holder who has won the toss 39 times in 81 matches (48.15%).
Sri Lanka have averaged 66.40 in P1 this WC, compared to the Windies’ 47.67. Sri Lanka have scored 11 sixes and 77 fours in their five completed matches, while the Windies have smashed 40 sixes and 117 fours in seven completed matches.