Sri Lanka, West Indies All Set for Battle in Tri-Series

November 16 14:30 2016

srvswiNew Delhi, Wednesday, November 16 – The tri-series among Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka and West Indies began a couple of days ago. The first match held between Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka was won by the latter party by eight wickets. Batting first, the host totalled 154 runs in 41.3 overs.

Sri Lanka won the toss and made a decision to bowl first. They made best use of it by restricting opponents at a score that was easily attainable. Brian Chari, Chamu Chibhabha, Craig Ervine, Sikandar Raza, Sean Williams, Peter Moor, Elton Chigumbura, Graeme Cremer, Donald Tiripano, Carl Mumba and Tinashe Panyangara were in the Playing XI.

At the same time, Sri Lankan squad went with Upul Tharanga, Shehan Jayasuriya, Asela Gunaratne, Sachith Pathirana, Kulasekara, Suranga Lakmal, Nuwan Pradeep, Dhananjaya de Silva, Kusal Perera, Niroshan Dickwella and Kusal Mendis. If truth be told then the hosts did not try to capitalize the opportunity that could have had given them a strong start. Brian Chari lost his wicket to Lakmal at a score of 7, while Chamu Chibhabha to Pradeep on 18 runs. Craig Ervine was dismissed by Lakmal on a naught whereas Sikandar Raza failed to play rightly a delivery by Kulasekara and lost wicket at one runs.

Sean Williams was stumped by Dickwella in Sachith Pathirana’s over. He could score 9 runs. Peter Moor was lbw by Kulasekara but was the highest scorer from Zimbabwe. He played without any pressure. Four sixes and a boundary from him made Moor get 47 runs in 52 deliveries. Elton Chigumbura succumbed to Pradeep on a single. Donald Tiripano was sent back to the dressing room by Asela Gunaratne at 19 runs (4 x 1). Carl Mumba got his leg before wicket by Asela Gunaratne on 1 run. Graeme Cremer was the man who was not out at 31 runs (4 x 2). Thanks to no challenging score in front of Sri Lanka, it was tough for the Zimbabwe squad to stay robust and think of winning the game in the end.

Sri Lanka attained the small target in 24.3 overs, beginning the tournament with victory. Dhananjaya de Silva had his big share in the team’s victory. He was not out at a score of 78 which was scored in 75 balls. His knock was studded with 12 boundaries. Kusal Perera lost his wicket to Chibhabha at a score of 21 (4 x 4). Niroshan Dickwella lost his wicket to Panyangara on 41 runs, which consisted of six boundaries. Kusal Mendis was not out 12 runs, including four runs. Player of the Match was given to Dhananjaya de Silva. Good bowling efforts of the tourists and poor batting by the opponents made things easy for Sri Lanka. They would look forward to stand out completely today as well when they face West Indies at Harare Sports Club in Harare.

The level of joy will go up as soon as the team manages to bat and bowl well. Putting a ceiling on the opponents from setting a big target usually keeps the possibility of winning up. Eyes of West Indies will be on snatching the wins from Sri Lanka and forget the nightmare what they witnessed against Pakistan lately in the United Arab Emirates. The way Pak players thrashed them in One Day Internationals and Test matches made West Indies think of the ways to end tournament on a winning note and get something to cheer in the end. They lastly tasted success at Sharjah Cricket Association Stadium in Sharjah by beating Pakistan in the final Test. No doubt that to be on victorious end, they would require faring far better than what was done in the UAE.

The victory in the last part might have given West Indies some relief. When they landed on Zimbabwe soil, motto must be sealing the tri-series. It could be the best time to try out new combinations and check what works in favour of the squad. After one match, Sri Lanka are at the top of points table with five points and net run rate of + 3.247. Zimbabwe have net run rate of – 3.247. Nothing can be better for them to grow their strengths and get stronger for future series. Amid foreign conditions, real threat for West Indies will be Sri Lanka, as a matter of fact. Jason Holder will look forward to let rivals feel pressure. However, that is not going to be easy at all for the reason that Sri Lanka have one victory in pocket.

The level of worries may increase if the batsmen fail to do their bit. Expectation will be up from the bowling unit. Focus may be on picking 10 wickets, letting the opponents feel pressure. Stress of performing will be on the bowling department as well. Players can’t make mistake of being heavily dependent on the teammates who are in form. Contribution from everyone is required and that will be the key to success.  To cut a long story short, West Indies and Sri Lanka are gearing up for interesting fight, which will turn exciting if equal inputs are given by both sides. Possibility of the same is likely but that will be imperative to watch how things go when these two teams meet after a certain span of time.