Sri Lanka'is The Last Chance Saloon Vs West Indies' To The Search For The Pride > Cricket News, cricinfo, mobilecric, cricbuzz, livescore and more

Cricket news - Sri Lanka's last-chance saloon vs West Indies' quest for pride

Sri Lanka's bowling is totally reliant on 35 year-old Lasith Malinga who has taken nearly twice as many wickets as the next best

England's victory over India not only boosted the home team's semi-finals hopes but it also knocked Sri Lanka out of contention for a spot in the final four, leaving Dimuth Karunaratne's team with only pride to play for when the take on West Indies in Chester-le-Street on Monday.

Sri Lanka managed to stay in the hunt until the end of Match 38 of this World Cup thanks to a one-off performance of extraordinary courage and skill against the hosts, two rained off games against strong opponents which gave them two points they may otherwise not have got, and an elongated format which allows middling teams to remain in contention longer than they might. Other than in the match against England, Sri Lanka have been particularly underwhelming. West Indies, are also out of contention, haven't been much better.

Both teams have significant flaws. For cutting edge, Sri Lanka's bowling is totally reliant on 35 year-old Lasith Malinga who has taken nearly twice as many wickets as the next best while their batsmen have tended to look glorious in getting to 20 before frustrating with an inability to rotate the strike and then a daft shot which sees them heading back to the pavilion. Sri Lanka have registered just five half-centuries in five completed matches at this World Cup and only three of their batsmen have a strike rate above 80.

West Indies' batting has also been a let-down although there have been more glimpses of what might have been. Against New Zealand at Old Trafford and Australia at Trent Bridge, they made a real fist of chases which they arguably should have finished off. Their last outing, when they were bundled out for 143 against India, was less impressive. The bowling has veered between the very good and the particularly bad and they realised only too late that Kemar Roach, economy of 3.65 from 23 overs, should have been in their team all along.

The two sides have only met five times in the last four years and West Indies lost four of those. That record should bear little relevance to this match, however, given their last meeting was in November 2016. Predicting this result is a fools' errand, anyway. Both teams have been so inconsistent that anything could happen. And even if this game doesn't quite whet the appetite as much as some of the other matches to come, at least that unpredictability should keep things interesting.

When: Monday July 1, 2019. 10.30am Local Time

Where: Riverside Ground, Chester-le-Street, Durham

What to expect: The surface for Sri Lanka's match against South Africa on Friday was good enough for batting if a little slower than anticipated. A weekend of warm temperatures and sun should have hardened it up a little more. Spin could come into the game as well if it is drier than on Friday. The weather for the game is set fair although, as has been the way of this tournament, clouds may continue to dominate the sun.

Team News

Sri Lanka: Nuwan Pradeep has been sent home with chickenpox, with Kasun Rajitha being named his replacement - although it isn't clear if the latter will get a game. Suranga Lakmal will keep his place in the team while Sri Lanka may consider the role of Jeevan Mendis is the middle order and whether someone else might do a better job. Mendis has been ineffectual with both bat and ball so far in this tournament and Milinda Siriwardana could come into contention.

Possible XI: Dimuth Karunaratne, Kusal Perera, Avishka Fernando, Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Jeevan Mendis/ Milinda Siriwardana, Dhananjaya de Silva, Thisara Perera, Isuru Udana, Suranga Lakmal, Lasith Malinga

West Indies: The Caribbean side may consider giving Oshane Thomas a break after his seven overs went for 63 against India. They could opt for a duel spin attack with off-spinner Ashley Nurse coming back into the team to join left-arm orthodox Fabien Allen. Sunil Ambris, who came into the side against Virat Kohli's team, will likely continue in place of the injured Evin Lewis.

Possible XI: Chris Gayle, Sunil Ambris, Shai Hope, Nicholas Pooran, Shimron Hetmyer, Jason Holder, Carlos Brathwaite, Fabien Allen, Kemar Roach, Sheldon Cottrell, Oshane Thomas

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