Sri Lanka vs West Indies 2nd T20I Preview
After conceding the Test series 2-0 and the One-Day International series 3-0, West Indies have one final chance to end their tour of Sri Lanka with a win when they face off against the mighty hosts in the second and final Twenty20 International at the R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on Wednesday (November 11).
The game that was initially slated to be played on November 12 was rescheduled after Maithripala Sirisena, the Sri Lankan president, declared the day as one of mourning after an eminent Buddhist monk and political figure passed away on Sunday.
Sri Lanka came into the T20I series with momentum on their side after the whitewash in the preceding ODI series, the evidence of which was visible in the first game of the two-match series. On the back of contributions throughout the batting line-up and a vicious attack from Angelo Mathews towards the end, Sri Lanka belted their way to 215 for 3 – the highest ever T20I total on the island.
Although Tillakaratne Dilshan top-scored with 56 off 37 balls, it was Mathews’s 13-ball 37 that took Sri Lanka to the monstrous total they got to and set the stage for a 30-run victory.
To chase an imposing total as such, West Indies top-order would have had to click, but Johnson Charles was castled by Lasith Malinga on the second ball of the innings. Andrew Fletcher would have hoped to find company in Marlon Samuels who was in fine touch in the ODI series finishing with 175 runs from three games, topping the charts but Senanayake had different plans. Despite losing Samuels early, West Indies regrouped with the middle order making minor contributions, but the regular loss of wickets stemmed the runs. They were eventually bowled out for 185.
Given the magnitude of the Sri Lankan assault, it was only evident that the West Indian bowlers were taken apart. In all the chaos, though, only Sunil Narine finished with respectable figures, conceding five runs an over from his four.
Narine, however, was pulled up for a reported suspect action for the first time in an international fixture after the third and final ODI. He would need to undergo testing within the next 14 days and until then would be allowed to bowl in international cricket. That would be a relief for West Indies as he is one of their most effective bowlers in the limited-overs formats.
Come the second and final T20I, the visitors have their last chance to end the otherwise poor and winless tour on a high. Their only win this tour came in the one-day tour match against the Board Presidents XI. On this tour, West Indies have impressed in splashes, while Sri Lanka have consistently been the better side. However, in the T20 format, they are a side to reckon with and their arsenal of match-winners hold them in good stead to pull off a team performance and going back with something to cheer about.
From Sri Lanka’s point of view, the hosts lost their last T20I series 2-0 at home to Pakistan. Although they maybe favourites heading into the final game of the tour, West Indies can pull off a surprise provided rain permits.
West Indies (From): Johnson Charles, Andre Fletcher(w), Marlon Samuels, Andre Russell, Dwayne Bravo, Kieron Pollard, Darren Sammy(c), Jason Holder, Jerome Taylor, Sunil Narine, Devendra Bishoo, Carlos Brathwaite, Darren Bravo, Denesh Ramdin, Jonathan Carter, Ravi Rampaul
Sri Lanka (From): Kusal Perera(w), Tillakaratne Dilshan, Dinesh Chandimal, Shehan Jayasuriya, Angelo Mathews, Chamara Kapugedera, Milinda Siriwardana, Sachithra Senanayake, Nuwan Kulasekara, Lasith Malinga(c), Dushmantha Chameera, Binura Fernando, Kithuruwan Vithanage, Thisara Perera, Jeffrey Vandersay