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Windies

In-form Sri Lanka begin hunt for rare series win in West Indies

WI v SL, 1st Test, preview

The three-Test series begins with the first Test in Trinidad on 6 June.

OVERVIEW

Windies v Sri Lanka
Queen's Park Oval, Trinidad
1st Test
Wednesday 6 June to Sunday 10 June; 14:00 GMT, 10:00 local

The Windies and Sri Lanka square off in a three-Test series starting Wednesday, 6 June, with the first Test in Port of Spain. Both teams will meet in the longest format of the game after a gap of more than two years, having last faced off during Windies' tour of Sri Lanka in October 2015. 

Sri Lanka have never won a Test Series in the West Indies and this provides a golden chance for them to re-write the record books. They hold the advantage on form, having won two of the last five Tests and drawing three.

Dinesh Chandimal will be leading a Sri Lankan side with the right blend of youth and experience
Dinesh Chandimal will be leading a Sri Lankan side with the right blend of youth and experience


This will be the first Test of the year for the Windies, who will be led by Jason Holder. They last played a five-day match against New Zealand in December 2017. While they could not win a Test on that tour to New Zealand, their performances in England earlier that year, which included a five-wicket win in Headingley while chasing 322, courtesy an unbeaten 118 by Shai Hope, were noteworthy.

The batting responsibilities will rest on Kraigg Brathwaite's shoulders, who will be assisted by Hope, Roston Chase, the recalled Devon Smith and Kieran Powell. Shanon Gabriel is expected to lead the bowling attack, to be helped by the experienced Kemar Roach, Miguel Cummins, and leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo.

Sri Lanka, who won 1-0 in the two-Test series against Bangladesh in February, had some injury concerns with their first-choice squad. But they have three batsmen who have enjoyed good recent form: Roshen Silva, Kusal Mendis and Dhananjaya de Silva, who joined the squad late after the untimely death of his father. All three scored centuries the first Test against Bangladesh in Dhaka, in a match where Sri Lanka scored 713 runs in their first innings. 

Jason Holder will lead the Windies in their first Test series of 2018
Jason Holder will lead the Windies in their first Test series of 2018


Experienced hands of captain Dinesh Chandimal, who warmed up with a century against West Indies President's XI in a practice game, and Angelo Mathews will provide the visitors the right blend of youth and seasoned professionals.

Suranga Lakmal leads the bowling attack with assistance from fellow fast bowlers Lahiru Gamage and Lahiru Kumara as well as spinner Akila Dananjaya. The experienced Rangana Herath, as always, will be a threat.

They also have wicket-keeper batsmen in Kusal Perera, who scored a half-century in both innings in the practice match, and Niroshan Dickwella, both of whom double up as hard-hitting batsmen capable of batting anywhere in the order.


While this Test, to be played at the Queen's Park Oval, and the next one in Gros Islet will be played during the day, the final Test in Bridgetown, Barbados will be a day-night affair. 

Key Players

Shai Hope (Windies): Hope, with his performances at Headingley, has suddenly become the core of the Windies batting line-up and a lot will depend on how he goes about his batting. Capable of playing attacking cricket as well as deadpan blocking, he has been one of the more consistent batsmen for the Windies.

Dhananjaya de Silva (Sri Lanka): Having suffered a loss on the personal front, de Silva has come back to join the squad. He also comes into the series with good recent form behind him and his rearguard effort to draw the Delhi Test against India last year established him as one of the mainstays of the Sri Lankan line-up.

Kusal Perera scored half-centuries in both innings in the practice match against West Indies President's XI
Kusal Perera scored half-centuries in both innings in the practice match against West Indies President's XI


Conditions

A maximum temperature of 31°C and a minimum of 24°C is expected in Trinidad on the first day with 68 per cent humidity and chances of light showers. The temperature range is expected to remain the same throughout the course of the Test.

Squads

Windies: Jason Holder (c), Devendra Bishoo, Kraigg Brathwaite, Roston Chase, Miguel Cummins, Shane Dowrich, Shannon Gabriel, Jamar Hamilton, Shimron Hetmyer, Shai Hope, Kieran Powell, Kemar Roach, Devon Smith

Sri Lanka: Dinesh Chandimal (c), Mahela Udawatte, Kusal Mendis, Kusal Janith Perera, Dhananjaya de Silva, Roshen Silva, Angelo Mathews, Niroshan Dickwella, Rangana Herath, Dilruwan Perera, Akila Dananjaya, Jeffrey Vandersay, Lahiru Gamage, Kasun Rajitha, Suranga Lakmal, Lahiru Kumara, Asitha Fernando

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