West Indies will have to put behind the disappointment of the close defeat in the first match
The West Indies side that goes into the second One-Day International of its three-match series against Sri Lanka on Wednesday (November 4) will be a rather disappointed one.
The West Indies bowlers fought hard in the first ODI, but Sri Lanka held its nerve to edge past by one wicket in a thrilling, rain-affected match at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on Sunday.
Both Sri Lanka and the West Indies have not enjoyed much success in ODIs this year. However, Sri Lanka, with nine wins from 20 matches, is ranked higher than the West Indies, who recently failed to qualify for the ICC Champions Trophy 2017.
Having already lost the Test series 2-0, the West Indies set out to recover some of its standing in the limited-overs series. But despite several bright sparks evidenced during the 43-run win in the training match against the Sri Lanka Board President’s XI, the West Indies came up marginally short in the first ODI that was reduced to a 26-overs-a-side affair.
There are thunderstorms forecast for Wednesday too, but if the rain stays away long enough there should be enough time for another good contest, one that the visiting side has to win to keep the three-match series alive. The Sri Lankans, however, will fancy their chances of sealing a series win in this match itself.
The West Indies put up 159 for 8 in the allotted overs, thanks to late flourishes from Andre Russell and Jason Holder. But if it is to draw level in the series, the opening combination of Andre Fletcher and Johnson Charles will have to provide a solid start. In the first ODI, only Darren Bravo made a significant contribution at the top of the order, and the batting will have to pull together to avoid a repeat of that.
While Russell top-scored with a brisk 24-ball 41, Holder slammed a 13-ball 36 in the first ODI to give the Caribbean side some much-needed impetus. However, Russell limped out of the attack in the fifth over of Sri Lanka’s innings after bowling just five deliveries, leaving the West Indies a bowler short. Holder, the captain, was forced to resort to Jonathan Carter and Charles at a crucial late stage of the game.
Now, with Holder facing a one-match ban for maintaining slow over-rate in the first ODI, and uncertainty surrounding the availability of Russell, the visiting side faces a tough ask.
On the bowling front, Sunil Narine took three wickets in an over on his return, but Narine alone cannot win matches, potent though he can be.
Meanwhile, Tillakaratne Dilshan’s form augers well for Sri Lanka, who chased down the Duckworth-Lewis revised target of 163 in 26 overs. Dilshan smashed 59 runs from 32 balls, with six boundaries and three sixes.
At that point, Sri Lanka was cruising at 104 for 2, but Dilshan’s wicket triggered a collapse and the home side lost seven wickets for the addition of just 48 runs. Sri Lanka’s batsmen will have to ensure that they avoid a repeat.
Lasith Malinga, who had not yet hit peak form in the limited-overs matches ahead of this series, seemed to find his old rhythm. Despite being wicketless in his six overs, Malinga gave away just 20 runs.
With the R Premadasa stadium hosting its second match inside four days, it will be interesting to see how the pitch behaves on Wednesday, weather permitting.
Sri Lanka: Angelo Mathews (capt), Lahiru Thirimanne, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Kusal Perera (wk), Dinesh Chandimal, Milinda Siriwardana, Shehan Jayasuriya, Sachithra Senanayake, Jeffrey Vandersay, Ajantha Mendis, Lasith Malinga, Nuwan Kulasekara, Suranga Lakmal, Dushmantha Chameera, Danushka Gunathileka.
West Indies: Devendra Bishoo, Jermaine Blackwood, Carlos Brathwaite, Darren Bravo, Jonathan Carter, Johnson Charles, Andre Fletcher, Jason Mohammed, Sunil Narine, Denesh Ramdin (wk), Ravi Rampaul, Andre Russell, Marlon Samuels, Jerome Taylor.