The race of the semi final stages of the ICC Cricket World Cup has been heating up lately and it got even more intense and interesting when in yesterday’s heavyweight clash between the hosts, England and the mighty India, England came out on top. It has further put much more pressure on the likes of teams like Pakistan, Bangladesh and even Sri Lanka. Thus, the match today in the World Cup between Sri Lanka and West Indies, is absolutely necessary for the Lankans to win.
Sri Lanka and West Indies have not had much success in the tournament so far and the fact that they have both been knocked out of the tournament will encourage them to try and experiment with their squads to give almost other members of their squad some valuable experience. However, they surely would not tinker too much as both teams would like to win the few finals games of this year’s World Cup for them.
PROBABLE STARTING XIs:
West Indies: Chris Gayle, Sunil Ambris, Shai Hope (WK), Shimron Hetmyer, Nicholas Pooran, Jason Holder (C), Carlos Brathwaite, Fabian Allen, Kemar Roach, Oshane Thomas, Sheldon Cottrell.
Sri Lanka: Dimuth Karunaratne (C), Kusal Mendis (WK), Avishka Fernando, Kusal Perrera (WK), Angelo Matthews, Dhananjay De Silva, Isuru Udana, Thisara Perera, Jeevan Mendis, Suranga Lakmal, Lasith Malinga, Kasun Rajitha.
For Sri Lanka, their batting order has been rather unpredictable and unreliable in this tournament. They have scored given tough challenging fights due to their batting to the likes of Australia, but in their last match barely managed to cross the 200 runs mark against a weak South African bowling attack.
Their own bowling attack has done rather well in the tournament, with the veteran Lasith Malinga performing exceptionally well. The Lankans’ bowling line up does have the tools in their arsenal to truly hurt the West Indian batting line up.
The West Indies have had troubles with both their bowling as well as their batting. When it comes to their batting, they have been dealt a major blow due to an injury to their star player Andre Russell. Almost all of their other batsmen have been massively out of form and while they do have the ability to win any game and destroy any bowler, they cannot be relied upon.
Their bowling has also been a major cause of trouble, due to Sunil Naraine’s injury struggles and thus him being absent from the World Cup, have left the Windies with just 1 spinner, Ashley Nurse. Nurse isn’t the most crafty spinner in the world and the Windies have’t shown much faith in his abilities so far.
This match is extremely difficult to successfully predict and most likely will be decided by whichever team turns up with more drive and hunger to win.