Hope and Bravo

Rattled West Indies seek consolation win to avoid series sweep

SL v WI, 3rd ODI, preview

West Indies, after suffering a heartbreaking one-wicket loss in the first of the three ODIs, went down by a massive 161 runs in the second to hand Sri Lanka the series. Can they bounce back in the third game to avoid a whitewash?

Overview

Sri Lanka v West Indies, 3rd ODI
Pallekele International Cricket Stadium, Pallekele
Sunday, 1 March; 02.30pm local, 09.00am GMT

Shai Hope has had a consistent run with the bat, scoring a hundred and a fifty in the first two ODIs, but that hasn't been enough for West Indies. He has received precious little support from the rest of the batting line-up, with many failing to convert their starts.

Their bowling too has endured a similar struggle. Alzarri Joseph and Sheldon Cottrell, the pacemen, have delivered the goods, but the rest of the attack, especially the spinners, have failed to match pull their weight. It hasn't helped the bowlers that the fielding has been far from impressive this series.

Kieron Pollard, therefore, has quite a few issues to address ahead of the third game. In a bid to change things at the top and spark some runs, West Indies might consider bringing in Brandon King, the Jamaican dasher, at the top as a replacement for Sunil Ambris, who scored 3 and 17 in the first two games.

Sri Lanka, meanwhile, have relished the home comforts and the sloppiness of the opposition. Each of their top four have been among the runs, but the greatest positive would be the return of all-rounder Thisara Perera, who added some quick runs in the last ODI, in addition to his disciplined new-ball spells. 

They'll expect more from Angelo Mathews though, the former captain returning single-digit scores in the first two matches.

Remember the last time

Sri Lanka lost skipper Dimuth Karunaratne and Kusal Perera off successive balls in the third over, but a monumental 239-run third-wicket stand between Avishka Fernando (127) and Kusal Mendis (119) gave them a solid platform to launch an assault in the death. Thisara Perera (36) led that charge, as the hosts finished on 345/8.

West Indies got off to a steady start in the chase, but once Hope was dismissed in the 18th over, it was an uphill task. Sri Lanka's spin-twins, Wanindu Hasaranga and Lakshan Sandakan, did most of the damage, taking six wickets between them, and West Indies were bundled out for 184 in the 40th over.

What they said

Dimuth Karunaratne, Sri Lanka captain: "I'd like to thank my team-mates. They played their hearts out. Last few years, we didn't have that in one-day matches, so hopefully they'll continue in the next games as well. Mickey Arthur is a nice guy, and he's trying to groom us. With all the youngsters in the side, it's not easy. But he was supporting us and giving us confidence. He's doing a good job."

Kieron Pollard, West Indies captain: "We didn't stick to our plans long enough. I don't think we were up to the international standard. We weren't there in all three departments. We can pinpoint a lot of things, but I don't want to go into a lot of details. We'll do that as a team."

Conditions

It's expected to be a bright afternoon, with temperatures between 29 and 33°C. It will get progressively cooler and a bit dewy later on, but that is unlikely to be a decisive factor, as teams have successfully defended scores in three of the last four games played here.

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Standings

Group A

Pos Team P NRR Pts
1 England 3 +1.045 6
2 Bangladesh 3 +0.000 3
3 Australia 3 -0.992 2
4 New Zealand 3 -1.058 1

Group B

Pos Team P NRR Pts
1 India 3 +1.370 4
2 Pakistan 3 -0.680 4
3 South Africa 3 +0.167 2
4 Sri Lanka 3 -0.798 2

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