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West Indies, Sri Lanka look to tune up bowling at Edgbaston

Coming off defeats in their previous warm-up match, both teams will strive to gain confidence

West Indies, Sri Lanka look to tune up bowling at Edgbaston - Cricket News
West Indies are scheduled to have a training session on Monday ahead of their second official warm-up match against Sri Lanka.
The West Indies has fond memories of winning the ICC Champions Trophy in 2004. But between then and now its cricket landscape has changed. The advent of Twenty20 cricket has contributed to an upward curve that saw the team beat Sri Lanka in the ICC World Twenty20 final. It is the same kind of form it would hope to replicate in the last edition of the Champions Trophy starting June 6.

But before it gets down to business of plotting and planning, the team management has one last chance to allow all players to get into their groove when it takes on Sri Lanka in a warm-up fixture at Edgbaston in Birmingham on Tuesday (June 4).

Both teams are coming off a loss in their first full warm-up fixture. While West Indies was overpowered by a century from Shane Watson, losing by five wickets to Australia, Sri Lanka, despite scoring 333, lost out to India after Virat Kohli and Dinesh Karthik made brilliant centuries.

Chris Gayle, Kieron Pollard and Ravi Rampaul, coming off successful stints in the Indian Premier League, were rested along with Marlon Samuels for the game against Australia. Given the conditions they’re likely to encounter, all of them are expected to feature in the game at some stage.

What the team management would be particularly pleased about, however, is the form displayed by Johnson Charles (55), the opener, and Darren Bravo (86), who helped them post a competitive 256 for 9.  The bowling line-up led by Kemar Roach, Rampaul and Tino Best backed up by Sunil Narine and Dwayne Bravo is more than handy. But consistency is one area the bowlers would look to quickly improve upon, especially against an aggressive opposition.

Meanwhile, Sri Lanka's batting performance against India would have made the team management happy. All top-order batsmen got substantial match practice in the middle, with the most impressive of the lot being Kusal Perera, the left-handed opener, who made 82 before retiring out. Dilshan also looked at his aggressive best and helped them end at 333 for 3.

Sri Lanka’s area of concern would be its bowling attack. After picking up four wickets, the bowlers suddenly went off the boil. Lasith Malinga, who missed the first warm-up against India due to jet lag, is likely to be back and will be vital to the team’s chances. Off the boil for a majority of the IPL, Malinga struck form closer to the tournament’s final and will hope to carry on from where he left off with the others rallying around him.

West Indies, placed in Group B alongside India, Pakistan and South Africa, opens its campaign against Pakistan in Cardiff on June 7 while Sri Lanka plays its first game against New Zealand at the same venue two days later.

Teams (from)
West Indies: 
Dwayne Bravo (capt), Denesh Ramdin (wkt), Tino Best, Darren Bravo, Johnson Charles, Chris Gayle, Jason Holder, Sunil Narine, Kieron Pollard, Ravi Rampaul, Kemar Roach, Darren Sammy, Marlon Samuels, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Devon Smith.

Sri Lanka: Angelo Mathews (capt), Dinesh Chandimal, Dilhara Lokuhettige Tillakaratne Dilshan, Shaminda Eranga, Rangana Herath, Mahela Jayawardene Nuwan Kulasekara, Lasith Malinga, Jeevan Mendis, Kusal Perera, Thisara Perera, Kumar Sangakkara (wk), Sachithra Senanayake, Lahiru Thirimanne  

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