Sri Lanka’s return to ODI cricket has not been likable. Having already surrendered the series to the West Indies, they are a solitary defeat away from being welcomed to 50-overs cricket with a clean sweep against their name. Coming afresh after a year-long hiatus has made little difference as the pattern of their losses remains depressingly similar: they have been patchily impressive, but the failure of capitalisation has kept victories at bay.
In the first ODI, Sri Lanka were guilty of squandering a good start with the bat, letting West Indies bounce back. And even as they meekly managed to give a hiccup to the hosts in the second game, a failure to restrict Nicholas Pooran’s late flourish on the back of a rock-solid platform built by the openers, Shai Hope and Evin Lewis, meant that any hopes of taking the series into a decider were brutally quashed.
On both occasions, a troubling pattern has emerged for the Lankans: the ineffectiveness of their spinners. The leading wicket-taker of the T20I series, Wanindu Hasaranga – eight wickets at 5.25 and an economy rate (3.50) as impressive as any – is yet to claim a wicket in the 50-overs leg. Then again, so effective in the shorter format where he picked six wickets in two games, Lakshan Sandakan has managed no more than a solitary scalp as yet.
For West Indies, from the sensational work by Hope and Lewis at the top of the order to the bowlers chipping in nicely, especially Jason Mohammad, the leading wicket-taker of the series so far with five to his credit, there have been plenty of positive takeaways. With the series in their bag already, this is their greatest chance to wipe out the visitors 3-0.
In a non-ODI Super League world, the third fixture would have only been a battle of pride for the Lankans. However, with 10 points for the taking, and a chance to enter into the red-ball series on the back of a win, the Lankans have something to play for in the third game.
Pitch and conditions
The track has been fair for both batsmen and bowlers on the two occasions thus far. Expect another balanced track with trustworthy bounce and value for strokes on offer. Given that twice in as many occasions the team chasing has emerged victorious, there will be a certain temptation for the captains at the toss.
Playing combinations for WI vs SL
Both Shai Hope (110 and 84) and Evin Lewis (65 and 103) have been in sensational form and their opening partnerships – 143 and 192, respectively – have ensured that West Indies has been in command. After two wins on the trot, West Indies might not meddle with their combination apart from aiming to give the benchwarmers a go. If they do so, the most likely inclusion from the unused inventory should be of either Kyle Mayers or Kevin Sinclair.
Predicted XI: Evin Lewis, Shai Hope (WK), Darren Bravo, Nicholas Pooran, Jason Mohammed, Kieron Pollard (C), Jason Holder, Kyle Mayers/Fabian Allen, Romario Shepherd, Akeal Hosein/Kevin Sinclair, Alzarri Joseph
Rocked by the absence of a couple of their first-choice players, Sri Lanka has another addition to the list as Angelo Mathews has traveled back due to personal reasons. While Danushka Gunthilaka’s back-to-back half-centuries (55 and 96) and Dinesh Chandimal getting amongst the runs in the previous game have been positives, Pathum Nissanka, who impressed in the T20Is, has not managed to get going. Furthermore, after a forgettable first game for Kamindu Mendis, Sri Lanka opted to include Oshada Fernando in his place in the previous fixture. However, Fernando did little to justify that call.
Although it seems unlikely that he will get a look-in straightaway, Sri Lanka are welcoming back Dasun Shanaka, who missed the T20Is and the first two ODIs owing to issues related to his visa, which led to his delayed arrival.
Predicted XI: Danushka Gunathilaka, Dimuth Karunaratne (C), Pathum Nissanka, Dinesh Chandimal (WK), Ashen Bandara, Oshada Fernando, Thisara Perera, Wanindu Hasaranga, Dushmantha Chameera, Lakshan Sandakan, Nuwan Pradeep
WI vs SL Head to Head
Played- 62 | West Indies- 30 | Sri Lanka- 29 | NR- 3
In West Indies
Played- 13 | West Indies – 7 | Sri Lanka- 5 | NR- 1
WI vs SL Broadcast Details
Match Timings – 7:00 PM IST
Live Streaming – Fancode
Source: The source of this content is our cricket news platform Crictracker.
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