Sri Lanka v Zimbabwe, World T20 2012, Group C, Hambantota September 17, 2012

Focus on cricket in opening game

119

Match facts
September 18, 2012
Start time 1930 local (1400 GMT)

Big Picture

There is no big bash planned for the opening of World Twenty20 in Hambantota, no music concert, no fireworks and no trapeze artists. But, there is a cricket match and both Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe are likely to be grateful that they, not a sideshow, will take center stage.

Cricket can be their only focus because in a short group stage, like this one, an early slip up could end their campaign even as it begins. That fact is probably scarier for Sri Lanka than it is for Zimbabwe. Sri Lanka are expected not to slip up, especially because the tournament is taking place at home and their reputation as runners-up was given a fresh unveiling at least year's fifty-over World Cup. Their time for going one better is thought to be now. Despite changes to coaching staff and personnel and a patchy recent record in T20 cricket, Sri Lanka is still seen as one of the favourites and they would hope to show why against Zimbabwe.

For Zimbabwe's coach, Alan Butcher, and his charges, this tournament is nothing more than an opportunity. It is a chance to show that they are still active on the world stage, even though they have not been on it for almost eight months. It is a chance to show that they are still producing talented players and have the capacity to nurture that talent. And maybe, just maybe, it is a chance to achieve something that no-one would think them capable of.

Form guide (completed matches, most recent first)
Sri Lanka LLWLW
Zimbabwe LLLLL

Watch out for

There are few finer sites in cricket than Lasith Malinga, hair bobbing to the rhythm of his steps, running in, pecking the ball on its way through to the base of the stumps. With the opportunity to see him in whites a thing of the past, watching him in the shortest form has to suffice. As Sri Lanka's joint highest wicket taker in T20 cricket, with Ajantha Mendis, Malinga can be as destructive as he is delightful and with Sri Lanka challenging for silverware on home turf, you can expect both in overload.

Sandwiched in-between a man in fine form, Hamilton Masakadza and the captain, Brendan Taylor is Vusi Sibanda. He has completed his return to the team after a spat over his choice to play grade cricket instead of domestic cricket at home but has been overshadowed by Masakadza and Taylor. Sibanda is an attacking strokeplayer, who has learnt to play the short ball with as much force as the full one. He will also have to play the key role of holding the top three together to ensure Zimbabwe can challenge with the bat.

Team news

A slightly new-look Sri Lanka XI is possible with Dilshan Munaweera likely to open the batting alongside Tillakaratne Dilshan and offspinner Akila Dananjaya - both set for debuts. That will mean Mahela Jayawardene will bat at No.3. The middle order is solid and the bowling varied, with two frontline spinners in Dananjaya and Ajantha Mendis.

Sri Lanka (probable): 1 Dilshan Munaweera, 2 Tillakaratne Dilshan, 3 Mahela Jayawardene, 4 Kumar Sangakkara, 5 Lahiru Thirimanne, 6 Angelo Mathews, 7 Nuwan Kulasekara, 8 Thisara Perera, 9 Lasith Malinga, 10 Ajantha Mendis 11 Akila Dananjaya,

An impressive top three gives way to a shaky Zimbabwe middle order but their alternatives are few. Only Forster Mutizwa could replace Craig Ervine or Stuart Matsikenyeri but their experience would likely see them turn out for the first match. It will probably be a choice between Elton Chigumbura and Malcolm Waller for the allrounder's role. Zimbabwe have three frontline spinners in Prosper Utseya, Graeme Cremer and Ray Price and Price is the likeliest to miss out if they chose to play three seamers.

Zimbabwe (probable): 1 Hamilton Masakadza, 2 Vusi Sibanda, 3 Brendan Taylor, 4 Craig Ervine, 5 Stuart Matsikenyeri, 6 Elton Chigumbura/ Malcolm Waller, 7 Prosper Utseya 8 Graeme Cremer, 9 Richard Muzhange, 10 Kyle Jarvis, 11 Chris Mpofu

Pitch and conditions

With heavy gusts expected in the afternoon and evening in Hambantota, some steadying adjustments will have to be made all round. Matches there have been low scoring, largely because the surface area of the field is larger than the MCG, but the boundary rope is being brought in for this tournament. The pitch is expected to have something in it for the seamers, so much so that Brendan Taylor said he does not expect much turn. Temperatures are expected to be warm, between 26 and 28 degrees Celsius, with up to 80% humidity but little chance of rain.

Stats and trivia

  • Sri Lanka is the only national team to have two T20 centurions. Mahela Jayawardene and Tillakaratne Dilshan are among the seven players to have scored hundreds in the shortest format.
  • All six of Zimbabwe's top wicket-takers in T20 cricket are in their squad for this tournament. Prosper Utseya leads the charts with 16 scalps followed by Elton Chigumbura, Ray Price, Kyle Jarvis, Graeme Cremer and Chris Mpofu.

    Quotes

    "Having looked at the wicket I'm pretty confident that it will be much better than what it has been, and there should be plenty of runs."
    Sri Lanka's captain Mahela Jayawardene expects a high-quality surface in Hambantota.

    "We've got some good strikers in the top order, some good spinners and young, talented fast bowlers that will bowl well at the death. If we get those things right, it will be tough for Sri Lanka."
    Despite his team being regarded as clear underdogs, Brendan Taylor is bullish ahead of Zimbabwe's first match of the tournament.

    Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

  • Comments have now been closed for this article

    • on September 18, 2012, 15:36 GMT

      It seems India is favorite again to win the T20 world cup

    • praveen4honestremark on September 18, 2012, 15:06 GMT

      Pressure of playing at home is quite clearly shown in running of SL batsman in between the wickets. They are good runners than this. Two wickets lost due to bad running and judgement.

    • Narbavi on September 18, 2012, 13:56 GMT

      @Harshani Pereira: So bro, you don't mind losing to india in the warm up game, but u will make a big deal if india loses to pakistan in the warm up?? lol, and u can check the comments section again!!

    • jb633 on September 18, 2012, 13:02 GMT

      Good luck to Sri Lanka all the way from England. Always have been far and away my favourite SC team.

    • Pappu_bhai on September 18, 2012, 12:41 GMT

      Here is my analysis hy i have told both teams are equally strong.

      Taylor Vs Jayawardane (Taylor is stronger considering his consistency and Jayawardanes Lack of Form) Masakadza Vs Dilsan (Dilshan is better becaz of dilscoop) Ervine Vs Sanga (Equally strong) Price Vs Herath (Price is better as experience) Mpofu Vs Malinga (Malinga becaz of Yorker) Chigumbra Vs Mathews (Equally Strong)

    • on September 18, 2012, 12:30 GMT

      Malinga will destroy Zimbabwe

    • SudhanRockz on September 18, 2012, 12:19 GMT

      @KEVINSL Its Okay man, still India will win against SL!! :)

    • Narender3080 on September 18, 2012, 12:07 GMT

      India Will Win the Cup...

    • cool2cool on September 18, 2012, 11:43 GMT

      @DaCricketFan: I don't know why are you guys giving so much importance to the t20 rankings, in which even Australia was once placed below Ireland and BD.

    • MENDIS_Forever on September 18, 2012, 11:38 GMT

      Sri Lankans (Except few people) are not jealous of India.

    • on September 18, 2012, 15:36 GMT

      It seems India is favorite again to win the T20 world cup

    • praveen4honestremark on September 18, 2012, 15:06 GMT

      Pressure of playing at home is quite clearly shown in running of SL batsman in between the wickets. They are good runners than this. Two wickets lost due to bad running and judgement.

    • Narbavi on September 18, 2012, 13:56 GMT

      @Harshani Pereira: So bro, you don't mind losing to india in the warm up game, but u will make a big deal if india loses to pakistan in the warm up?? lol, and u can check the comments section again!!

    • jb633 on September 18, 2012, 13:02 GMT

      Good luck to Sri Lanka all the way from England. Always have been far and away my favourite SC team.

    • Pappu_bhai on September 18, 2012, 12:41 GMT

      Here is my analysis hy i have told both teams are equally strong.

      Taylor Vs Jayawardane (Taylor is stronger considering his consistency and Jayawardanes Lack of Form) Masakadza Vs Dilsan (Dilshan is better becaz of dilscoop) Ervine Vs Sanga (Equally strong) Price Vs Herath (Price is better as experience) Mpofu Vs Malinga (Malinga becaz of Yorker) Chigumbra Vs Mathews (Equally Strong)

    • on September 18, 2012, 12:30 GMT

      Malinga will destroy Zimbabwe

    • SudhanRockz on September 18, 2012, 12:19 GMT

      @KEVINSL Its Okay man, still India will win against SL!! :)

    • Narender3080 on September 18, 2012, 12:07 GMT

      India Will Win the Cup...

    • cool2cool on September 18, 2012, 11:43 GMT

      @DaCricketFan: I don't know why are you guys giving so much importance to the t20 rankings, in which even Australia was once placed below Ireland and BD.

    • MENDIS_Forever on September 18, 2012, 11:38 GMT

      Sri Lankans (Except few people) are not jealous of India.

    • cool2cool on September 18, 2012, 11:34 GMT

      colombo_SL: I have never called your team a minnow or India as giant. If you have produced world's highest one day & test wicket taker, India has world's highest runs and century scorer in one day & tests. But what is the use of it? Even if we think a team is Great or Poor, is it going to prove anything?

    • AmjadZork on September 18, 2012, 11:29 GMT

      Hope there are no more rains in Sri Lanka or it will ruin the World Cup !!!

    • on September 18, 2012, 11:24 GMT

      Hey common this page is about SL v/s Zim match, the opening game of the tournament.Not about who is more worse among India & Sri Lanka.

    • senthil25 on September 18, 2012, 11:19 GMT

      Iam a Indian fan............i wish all best to both teams,.........but srilanka will win sure.........waiting for India Vs England..........

    • KEVINSL on September 18, 2012, 11:01 GMT

      @cool2cool:- why are you always depends on history bro. depend on current stats. on ranking India in 7th place. Sri Lanka number 3. so then it is no point of your own trumpet ok.

    • lion69sl on September 18, 2012, 10:58 GMT

      looking forward 2 ind vs afghan match...it will be more interesting than this match..there will be a good fight..india do have a good part time bowlers,if they talk at the time india can give afgha a good fight..

    • KEVINSL on September 18, 2012, 10:57 GMT

      @maddy20:- my school under19 bowlers are better than current indian bowling lineup

    • davidatlas999 on September 18, 2012, 10:56 GMT

      Go sl and plz give more bat to parera.he and munaweera is in my fantasy cricket team.good luck my players

    • KEVINSL on September 18, 2012, 10:54 GMT

      @cool2cool:- machan, ready to give a fare well party to your club level bowlers after loose to England.

    • colombo_SL on September 18, 2012, 10:44 GMT

      We love Indians, except few jealousy fans. We wish India to go top of the tournament. We never jealous of youuuu. Congrats!

    • SitharaAriyarathna on September 18, 2012, 10:43 GMT

      cool2cool:cricket is not all about winning.play fair and play hard. wickyvick :let's see is munaweera a joke or not if he got a chance.

    • DaCricketFan on September 18, 2012, 10:43 GMT

      @ maddy20, take my point mate.It's not just a matter of winning a warm up match. What I have commented here is that "Cricket is not just beating SL" take that point You Indians may good against SL, but not against other major teams. That's why you stay @ no7 ICC T20 ranking. But still you guys jotting comments as world no 1. We are not no 1 ranked. We agree that SA & Eng are better teams than us in t20 format. Just use to give the credit where it's due. That's it & good luck to you guys as well. We are Sri Lankans.

    • on September 18, 2012, 10:43 GMT

      @Narbavi:- India vs Afganistan match , I think India has the edge of winning.

    • colombo_SL on September 18, 2012, 10:41 GMT

      @amar777 & cool2cool. If we are minnows, we can understand your position lol. We have the highest scores in all the formats. In test (against india,p), oneday & T20s. We have produced world's highest one day & test wicket taker. If we are minnows, can you understand your position, i think. So called minnows has scored 953 runs against your so called giant team. its more than enough to understand your status.

    • on September 18, 2012, 10:24 GMT

      srilanka will be the winner for sure

    • on September 18, 2012, 10:18 GMT

      If Zimbabwe manage to pull of a major upset like they did in 2007 it would be great and make the remaining Group C matches very interesting.Hoping Zimbabwe do well.

    • amar777 on September 18, 2012, 9:47 GMT

      Its actually the clash of minnow vs minnow basher (SL). SL just slams the minnows comprehensively.

    • cool2cool on September 18, 2012, 9:43 GMT

      When India beat SL in a practice match, it is just a practice match, it was SL's plan/strategy blah blah. When India was beaten by PAK, India is hopeless/poor blah blah.

    • cool2cool on September 18, 2012, 9:38 GMT

      @chanacse: I don't know where did you get your stats from, but India beat NZ in both tests and ODI the last time(2009) they toured their.

    • cool2cool on September 18, 2012, 9:36 GMT

      @Ameeega sorry @ameba: Check my comments, I have never called SL a minow.

    • supporter_of_minnows on September 18, 2012, 9:35 GMT

      c'mon zim show the world ur talent by "upsetting" the lankans!!

    • cool2cool on September 18, 2012, 9:33 GMT

      @DaCricketFan: Loosing a warm-up match is a shame then what happened in a match on Saturday, 15th? OK, you made it to the finals in the VB series, but what happened in the last game between Ind-SL in that series? Who won the VB series finals? Which didn't win a single game in Asia cup? Who lost 1-4 and 0-1 to India on their home soil?

    • cool2cool on September 18, 2012, 9:25 GMT

      @Srilanka Cwc Champions, Sinhya and co: I said SL has not won anything significant apart from winning 96 WC because SL fans keep on saying that they are best in the world. I don't know why you keep on asking what India has done, when I accept that India is/was not the best team in the world(even though they have won 50-50, t20 and 2 u19 WC in the last 4-5 years or so).

    • colombo_SL on September 18, 2012, 9:20 GMT

      We love Indian fans really well. Don't consider comments from Pappu- bai & Narbavi. I am very much sure, there comments are not the feelings of other Indian brothers. We really love to see both India & Pakistan perform well in this tournament. They are our neighbours. We wish them to go top. All the best.

    • cool2cool on September 18, 2012, 9:16 GMT

      @lala88: Why should Indian appreciate SL, as they keep on loosing to India everytime?

    • maddy20 on September 18, 2012, 9:12 GMT

      @DaCricketFan When you cannot chase 146 against a team that could not defend 185, what does that make you? You SL fans should get used to the idea of your team losing. When was the last time your team has won a tournament? At best they might make it to the super 8's. After that its goodbye SL! I for one would not be surprised if they lose to Zim!

    • colombo_SL on September 18, 2012, 8:59 GMT

      @Waheed Ahmad: I take my hat off you sir. Thank very very much bro, for giving encouraging comments. We really love you as our friendly fans.

    • on September 18, 2012, 8:39 GMT

      With All the love from Pakistan we support SriLanka as our second team after Pakistan.... you are the best we love you guys.....

      Go and conquer the field :)

    • chanacse on September 18, 2012, 8:25 GMT

      hI Pappu_bhai, India lost against newzeland in their soil. What India can do is throwing bat for all balls, it is good when they are playing INDIAN flat pitches. Good bye INDIA.

    • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on September 18, 2012, 8:17 GMT

      So how come Malinga gets to arrive by helicopter then? Is that his own private one?

    • on September 18, 2012, 8:04 GMT

      Very well said by colombo_SL, when you talk about fans in our region, we will be the best, we support our team.... but we know only 1 team can win and obviously opponent will be loser,

      Not like in India, our cricketers have no fear of damaging their houses even they loose the match.. Wish all the very best to SL team and eager to C a nail bitting tournament .

    • lala88 on September 18, 2012, 7:53 GMT

      @Pappu_bhai & Narbavi, I think you guys comment on the wrong page. You should consider the match between India Vs Afganistan as a minnows game.

    • lala88 on September 18, 2012, 7:49 GMT

      @cool2cool, Every other countries except India have appreciated the Sri Lankan cricket. That's why your so called god Sachin was beaten by Sanga in the People's awards recently.

    • DaCricketFan on September 18, 2012, 7:47 GMT

      @ Pappu_bhai, Poor you my friend. You might have been sleeping when we beating you with the second highest balls to spare record ever, in SL recently. If you awaiting for the clash of the minnows, then it will be commence on 19 Sep(Ind vs Afgan) since the World ranker 7(India) meeting the World ranker 11(Afghanistan). Mind you, Cricket is not just beating SL, my friend. There are more countries you have to beat. This might be the reason that you are simply forgetting all the white washes you had recently against you & that's wrong mate. You may have forgot that we have thrown out you from the VB series last time & proceeded to Finals. Had a shameful loose by failing to protect 185 in 20 overs yesterday & still haven't learnt the lesson. What a shame....

    • yohandf on September 18, 2012, 7:23 GMT

      Good luck to our boys . Lets go and do what we are known for . play yo natural game . Definitely you ll achieve respectable results . We Sri Lankan fans are gonna root you irrespective of any results . Go and do it . TO SRI LANKAN FANS IN FORUM - Dont try to reply retards like Narbavi & Pappu _bhai . we have better things to do than flushing those WC s.

    • wickyvick on September 18, 2012, 7:04 GMT

      This is the world cup winning team for Sri Lanka : 1 Dinesh Chandimal, 2 Tillakaratne Dilshan, 3 Mahela Jayawardene, 4 Kumar Sangakkara, 5 Jeevan Mendis 6 Angelo Mathews, 7 Nuwan Kulasekara, 8 Thisara Perera, 9 Lasith Malinga, 10 Ajantha Mendis 11 Rangana Herath,

      Please no Thirimanne ( He is not ready yet in this level) Munaweera is a joke like Jayasuriya at the later part of his career If Malinga and Kulasekera playing please bowl there 4 overs before the 15th over, otherwise the assault from better batsman from other teams cannot take it as a fan. This has consistently happening for them in international cricket. They are not death bowlers at the end. May be two years ago.

    • on September 18, 2012, 6:57 GMT

      at narbavi as i said in last Thursday ,i was waited to see your comment on yesterday match ,wheres ur comment ?????

    • on September 18, 2012, 6:55 GMT

      I think the viewership for cricket getting diminished in india. People and giving importance to other sports also. So an early exit of india from this tournament will boost other games in india. I hope that will happen.

    • Pappu_bhai on September 18, 2012, 6:45 GMT

      Narbavi-->Perfect Statement.Clash Of Minnows.and DaCricketFan-->Can You plz try to win a game against India?Oh really i dont remember you winning against us in recent times. Earlier I thought SL have a chance in winning the Cup as there may be a possiblity of India getting Knocked out in Super 8s as usual. Actually SL was too good but only in SL.But due to their Over intelligence and Over Confidence they made the pitches dat dont suit them and any team can easily defeat them now and only God can protect them from humiliation now. However with due respect to SL i expect a tough fight today and SL winning by a wicket or 2 or by 10 runs at the maximum due to inexperience Of ZIM batsmen.But its cricket anything can happen.

    • on September 18, 2012, 6:42 GMT

      I am from india. I dont understand why people say that SL doesn't deserve to win this world cup. Its a t 20 game.Any team can win on their day. When we beat srilanka everybody said that India have a very good chance to win the title. And now see what happened we were beaten by pakistan. I wish gud luck for all the teams.

    • on September 18, 2012, 6:21 GMT

      at 1st_april i want you to comment on this news ( Akmal assault wins it against hapless Indian bowlers ) rather than commenting to other teams mach

    • on September 18, 2012, 6:21 GMT

      People are talking about this being the most open world cup, well let's wait and watch, West Indies after a long time look good on paper at least, i for one am hoping that they do well in this world cup this could really be a boost to west indies cricket, Indian bowling looks in bad shape, i do not understand why Zaheer is still in the playing eleven, he definitely is a spent force for this form of cricket and add to that his fielding!!!!! Balaji would definitely be a better choice,let us sit back and soak in the action, well may the best team win.

    • on September 18, 2012, 6:10 GMT

      very good move by SL selectors to leave Dinesh Chandimal from the playing eleven and give a chans ce to Lahiru Thirumanne and Munaweera , chandimal has been playing many rash shots and got out in vital times in many matches , he has take a leaf out of Kholi"s book and learn how to bat under pressure, well done SL cricket.

    • Htc-Baseball on September 18, 2012, 5:57 GMT

      @Team Blue Rocks: Yup very well said.CLash of Titans.SL fans atleast nw r u happy. We call u Titans.

    • on September 18, 2012, 5:41 GMT

      I do agree with the comments of Siri. Now the matches have been scheduled. Positve chances are for S/L team. Expecting to see some yorker experiments from Malinga. The probable team seems to be very great. Good luck for both teams.

    • troll401 on September 18, 2012, 5:39 GMT

      What are your fantasy cricket picks from this match guys? Is anyone playing? Who u think will perform? :-) Gonna be fun for the real cup and the fantasy cup for me at least.

    • colombo_SL on September 18, 2012, 5:18 GMT

      As sri lankans, we are not consider about what we have achieved. But we are keen on how we have achieved what we have got. So the win or loss is not a matter for us. if we have achieved anything in good way, its ok for us. No one can't put the Sri Lankan fans down, because we have understood the fundamental philosphy of the sport. We have been taught to respect & appreciate the opponent. Hope Zimbabwe fight well. Good luck for both teams.

    • KingOwl on September 18, 2012, 5:18 GMT

      I hope SL decides to chase, if they win the toss. The only way they can lose is if they win the toss and bat and try something crazy - like scoring at 10+ an over irrespective of pitch conditions.

    • shanky_cricwiz on September 18, 2012, 5:14 GMT

      what a hopeless combination for the first game of a mega tournamment and.....no opening ceremony!

    • KunzMan on September 18, 2012, 5:08 GMT

      All SriLanka haters out there! Watch the lions score a new record by crushing REAL minnows Zimbabwe by scoring 275 and our legend in making spinners bundle out Zim for less than 50. Srilanka WORLD CHAMPIONSSSS

    • colombo_SL on September 18, 2012, 5:07 GMT

      What ever the result, we are always enjoying our game of cricket with our " bands" there with music. We lions, have understood the spirit of sport. Good luck for both teams.

    • colombo_SL on September 18, 2012, 5:03 GMT

      @Jasonpete, Praveen4honestremark; Thankyou very much for your comments bro.

    • Htc-Baseball on September 18, 2012, 5:00 GMT

      Clash of minnows for the tournament opener. Neverwinning Lanka vs Notsobad Zimb

    • colombo_SL on September 18, 2012, 4:58 GMT

      @1st_april, This is a game of cricket. Every team can win. As Sri lankan fans, we have understood it. Winning is not our sole objective lol, as you dooo. Even though, we lost to Zimbabwe its ok broooo. We never hate our cricket heros. We love them forever. We know that Zimbabwe is a good team. wish good luck for both teams. Keep in mind, Sri Lankans smile even in the defeats. It is our difference. we enjoy the good game of cricket, irrespective of the country. You haven't understood the basics of a sport lol.

    • DaCricketFan on September 18, 2012, 4:53 GMT

      Best wishes for Sri Lanka. Make it happen boys. Congratz to all of you! Good luck to Zimbabwe as well in the meantime.

    • Pushpe001 on September 18, 2012, 4:35 GMT

      I think we should play with rangana herath rather than mendis...he has an arm ball and most importantly,he is the impact baller for sri lanka in recent past...we should attack in the middle overs with spinners including dilshan and thirimanna...

    • SL-RokZ on September 18, 2012, 4:23 GMT

      First of all best wishes for all teams playing in SL for T20 2012 Trophy ..... :D Specially for SL to grab the cup ;) ... BTW its kinda disappointing for not having some sort of an opening ceremony since this is a big event... nevertheless if the opening two teams would be able to pull up a thriller of a game, u'd need no fireworks or fancy show-offs, coz EXCITING T20 CRICKET itself is a FLASH :D ( yet first game should've been between two evenly exciting teams rather than ZIM - no offense) Anyways i hope it'd be a great kick off for the tournament after-all ..... @ so-called indian crick experts - SL(we) just need to prove only one thing here "Lift the Trophy" coz we've already proven what quality team we are when it comes to BIG OCCASIONS (been there very consistently till finals in most big tournaments) Now its just a matter of grabbing the title....

    • on September 18, 2012, 4:16 GMT

      i hope zim wins, it will lighten up the tournament

    • cool2cool on September 18, 2012, 4:10 GMT

      @sanga_cricket_fan on: Please read the articles, I have always appreciated the teams which have done well and always replied to the negative comments.

    • Ameeega on September 18, 2012, 4:02 GMT

      Some people say SL a minnow. I am bit confused. Ind beat SL easily, SL beat Pak easily, a day before Pak beat India in the practice match. Now I cannot find who is the minnow! Probably Narbavi and Cool2Fool has better sense than me!

    • shan228 on September 18, 2012, 3:54 GMT

      I think India in the treat of losing to Afghanistan….

    • DaCricketFan on September 18, 2012, 3:43 GMT

      @ Narbavi, "Clash of the Minnows"? You have mistaken mate. This match is not between India & Zimbabwe. What's the ICC T20 rank of your team? If the match is in between India & Zimbabwe, then your topic is well matching since the ICC ranks are 7 for India & 8 for Zimbabwe. He... He...

    • on September 18, 2012, 3:38 GMT

      Nothing to say about today's match, waiting for Ind vs Afghan match

    • jasonpete on September 18, 2012, 3:16 GMT

      Good luck to both teams.Hope srilanka give their fans a winning start in this tournament.And please again, no more having a go at each other,its really bad.

    • Htc-Android on September 18, 2012, 3:04 GMT

      @cool2cool. how come you have never posted a single comment on articles that are related to indian team? are you here to cheer for indian team? or are you just here to post hate comments against sri lankan team?

    • 1st_april on September 18, 2012, 3:02 GMT

      can't see SL making through to the 2nd round....ZIM and SA ,the real Land of the Lions , are too much for these 'Lions'...lol..

    • 1st_april on September 18, 2012, 2:58 GMT

      SL vs. ZIM....absolutely gripping contest....if SL win, i will be waiting for the SL commentators to say..."years of preparation went into this(Beating ZIM)"...lol...

    • on September 18, 2012, 2:54 GMT

      All the best SL and ZIM waiting for the new bowler Akhila dhananjaya's performance

    • siri12345 on September 18, 2012, 2:50 GMT

      i think icc have certainly missed a trick here.the opening match of the worldcup would have been played between two equally matched team so that people from all over the world will be glued to it and it would have been a perfect start for what promises to be a mega mind blowing world cup.so is there any way if the icc can shift today,s match to tomorow and instead have india vs afghanistan as the opening match because it looks the most equally balanced match of this worldcup.and promises to be a thriller.

    • on September 18, 2012, 2:49 GMT

      "There is no big bash planned for the opening of World Twenty20 in Hambantota, no music concert, no fireworks and no trapeze artists." Hmm...Did they have trapeze artist in WC 2003 ??

    • Htc-Android on September 18, 2012, 2:41 GMT

      @cool2cool. that doesnt mean we can be called as minnows. we have done better than SA,NZ,WI,Eng in major tournaments in the past 20 years.

    • praveen4honestremark on September 18, 2012, 1:16 GMT

      With out opening ceremony , it depends on SLC on how it will show all countries together on a stage playing T20. May be SLC cannot show all teams on a same stage as only opening ceremony is best stage; may be revenues or may be lack of time have stopped them from organizing a opening ceremony. When World is watching you definitely need opening ceremony. Many other countries , non-cricketing nations do watch this, so opening ceremony is always good for popularizing game. Coming to match SL will enter field as favorites and there will be lot of runs flowing in this match. Srilanka in this game is equally matched in batting with Zimbabwe can bat well too, they have big hitters.In bowling Srilanka have edge over Zimbabwe but if Zimbabwe batsman can manage to give their best then we can see an even contest today. All the best for both the teams.

    • on September 18, 2012, 1:09 GMT

      there is no point in playing Akila Danajaya and Ajantha Mendis in the same match....

    • Sinhaya on September 18, 2012, 0:54 GMT

      @cool2cool, seriously why are you calling Sri Lanka beating Zimbabwe an upset? Yes we won the world cup in 1996 and you say after that we won "nothing"! Does that mean we have not won a single series since then? Kindly be specific bro.

    • wickyvick on September 18, 2012, 0:38 GMT

      I think Sri Lanka will have a chance in winning this game, but there after they will struggle. They have to play Jeevan ( he can clear ropes and has good variety in his bowling) , Ajantha Mendis ( If you drop him means another world cup disaster) and Hearth ( he may be useless in his fielding, but will not be easy to score runs from him and you drop him will be another world cup disaster. Why Thirimanne? for what ? If he has to bat means top order collapse and sri lanka loose the game anyway. He`s not a match winner and never will be. Sangakkara need to play well, his form in this format is pathetic, His IPL record for the last 3 years will tell everything. Chandimal should open and he has experience than Munaweera. If Munaweera play this game he should score big runs ( I don`t think so) Chandimal is good as an opener for this format, but do not play him in the middle ( better to drop him).

    • vioo on September 18, 2012, 0:13 GMT

      I too feelin d same like tatail..it wil b an easy win for SL..wats d point of watchn it? Wer is our Sinhaya, Kevin SL, Chadurthadi n so on?????????? without u guys its boring 2 read d comments... Ny way all d best for MJ n co. From a die hard fan of IND n CSK...

    • crickroc on September 17, 2012, 21:41 GMT

      JAYAWEWA !!! :O) SRI LANKA !!

    • fuzzyeggs on September 17, 2012, 21:07 GMT

      i think herath would be a way better choice

    • SanjivAwesome on September 17, 2012, 21:03 GMT

      Looking forward to a great game. SL are in form.

    • dulabhai on September 17, 2012, 20:32 GMT

      @TeamBlueRocks...if SL are minnows..then I guess Australians are minnows too...they are below the Irish on the point table..

    • Forgettable on September 17, 2012, 20:16 GMT

      All the best to Zim from UAE>

    • on September 17, 2012, 20:16 GMT

      @ cool2cool - I think you didn't even born when India last won WC title apart from 2011. So called, so big giant took 28 year to win again and took 20 years to come to a final. But we Srilanka Won the title in 1996 semifinalist in 2003 finalist in 2007 (where your so called big country got out from first round) and 2011. So you have nothing to shout here. LOL As a small country we archived many things in these 31 years after we got test status than your country archived in 80 years of time.

    • dushank on September 17, 2012, 20:09 GMT

      @TeamBlueRocks, don't forget that the team blue got what they really deserved from the minnows Bangladesh during 2007 world cup. So, don't get much hope & it would not worth it for a die hard fan like you.

      BTW, Have you watched the Blues warm up game with the PAKs....! Pitty Ha....?

    • MunafAhmed811 on September 17, 2012, 19:16 GMT

      @Narbavi on (September 17 2012, 14:51 PM GMT):Its the clash of the minnows!! Srilanka have a slight edge because of playing at home. Why are you hurting feelings of fans. Call it "clash of two equally matched titans" and thats polite ;)

    • Slesh on September 17, 2012, 18:51 GMT

      I think SL should go with this team(only against ZIM)

      1.Munaweera 2.Dilshan 3.Mahela 4.Sanga 5.Mathews 6.Jeewan 7.Thisara 8.Kulasekara 9.Herath 10.Malinga 11.Mendis As hambantota is a fairely slow pitch i think its good to have this team.& we shouldn't expose Dhananjaya staight away.we have three spinners (except Dilshan).and Zimbabweans normally plays well against fast bowlers.As we saw Brendon Taylor had not much idea of Malinga.i seriously think we shouldn't use Chandimal & Thirimanne in T20s regularly.we have good enough batsmen in the team to face ZIM.we can use thirimanne when we are playing against a strong bowling team.im sure this team will work.hope for the best!!!! All the best lions!! love you all!!!

    • bored_iam on September 17, 2012, 18:44 GMT

      SA are the originals but doesn't SL tend to 'CHOKE' too often in finals?

    • tatail on September 17, 2012, 18:15 GMT

      I agree with @Shuddha Kibria, this is absolutely not fair to Netherlands.. Even if you take Zim but why give them the first match? Specially against a team that people are already calling favorites. What is the point? I think the first match should have been nail-biting and against a better opposition for SL.

      Right now I don't find myself interested in watching this game at all.. For me SL is gonna win this game with a very big margin.. So why bother watching it?

    • cool2cool on September 17, 2012, 17:55 GMT

      Why they have not scheduled the match at Sahara desert instead?

    • on September 17, 2012, 17:38 GMT

      Way to go Zimbabwe. All the best

    • cool2cool on September 17, 2012, 17:32 GMT

      @Samith Rodrigo: So you agree that apart from winning WC (that too 16 years back), your team has won nothing.

    • tdslbuwa on September 17, 2012, 17:30 GMT

      PLz...!!! No Thirimanne. Give chandimal chance or go with Jeevan..Good Luck SL!!!

    • cool2cool on September 17, 2012, 17:27 GMT

      Can we have an upset and see SL winning against Zim?

    • on September 17, 2012, 17:14 GMT

      @Narbavi, glad you are following minnows , you commenting in all our(minnows colums) that means even if we are minnows , you are die hard fan of sl,, welcome ;)

    • on September 17, 2012, 16:54 GMT

      all the best sri lanka !!!!

    • on September 17, 2012, 16:53 GMT

      LOL @ narbavi.how come 1 time world champions,two times world runners up.2009 T 20 runners up,two times semi finalists become minnows.U must have been living in a cave or something.

    • on September 17, 2012, 16:46 GMT

      @Narbavi..are u an indian pundit?? just c wt happend to India 2dy and it will be same from SL hands No thirimanna...plz put chandi and play him num.3 and mahela @num5

    • cricketkhan on September 17, 2012, 16:42 GMT

      i believe that SL is a favourite for this oppener as they are playing in home ground as well as overall they are a better team then Kiwis

    • NFaiq on September 17, 2012, 16:33 GMT

      Don't Take Easy Play Your Cricket In Sha ALLAH T20 World Cup Is Ours!! Go Lions Goooooooo

    • on September 17, 2012, 16:11 GMT

      good luck SL. it will be a good start. but my point is we start the 2nd ever world cricket tournament played at sri lanka with out any out door celebrations...we are trying to promote tourism . but what helps us if we will not use this sort of giant opportunities .!!

    • on September 17, 2012, 15:52 GMT

      Its time to show the colors boys. Lets start the journey to the World T20 title. God Bless MJ and co

    • bigwonder on September 17, 2012, 15:38 GMT

      @Firdose, I think you are missing the point here. If you are indicating that having opening ceremony is a distraction to cricket then why is Olympics ceremony not distracting its participants or viewers. In which ODI world-cup event can a team relax on its first game? Just ask India how they got kicked out in the qualifier round in WI(2007). Not having an opening ceremony just indicates money problem and nothing else.

    • on September 17, 2012, 15:25 GMT

      Good Luck Lions !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • on September 17, 2012, 15:22 GMT

      Ppl were sayin in 2009 dat icc goofed up da schedule cos of da opening match but thi opening match is definitely a bigger goof up. in fact letting zim play in dis tournament is a goof up. ned r a much better team in t20s than zim. zim shud hav taken part in march's icc qualifiers wid da oder associates nd ire shuld have qlified automatically instead

    • Afta on September 17, 2012, 15:21 GMT

      Best wishes for Sri Lanka. The T20 games are indeed very tricky, even the best teams go out of the tournament very early. Sri Lanka has NEVER won a T20 game batting second on home soil and that's scary..! I hope we can change that this time.

    • Narbavi on September 17, 2012, 14:51 GMT

      Its the clash of the minnows!! Srilanka have a slight edge because of playing at home,

    • Karnain on September 17, 2012, 14:48 GMT

      First step of a historical journey. I think Mahela prefers to have Jevan Mendis in the playing 11, but considering the fact that they already have 7 bowling options including 2 quality spinners it's better to go with a specialist batsman Thirimanne. Victory in this match is more important for SL than their match against South Africa. I mean if SL win this they are through to the super 8s. It's a hash call on Shaminda Eranga & Dinesh Chandimal. Chandimal better suits as a top order batsman (in top 3) so it's vice not to spoil his career by using him in the middle order. Great opportunity for Munaweera & Dhananjaya to make their debuts. Wish them and rest of the team all the very best for the first step of a historical journey!! Cheers!

    • on September 17, 2012, 14:43 GMT

      playing munaweera over chandi is an absolute joke

    • Akshaythekaxk on September 17, 2012, 14:18 GMT

      No opening cermony...lol...SLC for you baby!

    • on September 17, 2012, 14:17 GMT

      Sri Lanka should easily brush aside hapless Zimbabwe tomorrow. If not....then all hell "will" be unleashed upon Hambantota

    • No featured comments at the moment.

    • on September 17, 2012, 14:17 GMT

      Sri Lanka should easily brush aside hapless Zimbabwe tomorrow. If not....then all hell "will" be unleashed upon Hambantota

    • Akshaythekaxk on September 17, 2012, 14:18 GMT

      No opening cermony...lol...SLC for you baby!

    • on September 17, 2012, 14:43 GMT

      playing munaweera over chandi is an absolute joke

    • Karnain on September 17, 2012, 14:48 GMT

      First step of a historical journey. I think Mahela prefers to have Jevan Mendis in the playing 11, but considering the fact that they already have 7 bowling options including 2 quality spinners it's better to go with a specialist batsman Thirimanne. Victory in this match is more important for SL than their match against South Africa. I mean if SL win this they are through to the super 8s. It's a hash call on Shaminda Eranga & Dinesh Chandimal. Chandimal better suits as a top order batsman (in top 3) so it's vice not to spoil his career by using him in the middle order. Great opportunity for Munaweera & Dhananjaya to make their debuts. Wish them and rest of the team all the very best for the first step of a historical journey!! Cheers!

    • Narbavi on September 17, 2012, 14:51 GMT

      Its the clash of the minnows!! Srilanka have a slight edge because of playing at home,

    • Afta on September 17, 2012, 15:21 GMT

      Best wishes for Sri Lanka. The T20 games are indeed very tricky, even the best teams go out of the tournament very early. Sri Lanka has NEVER won a T20 game batting second on home soil and that's scary..! I hope we can change that this time.

    • on September 17, 2012, 15:22 GMT

      Ppl were sayin in 2009 dat icc goofed up da schedule cos of da opening match but thi opening match is definitely a bigger goof up. in fact letting zim play in dis tournament is a goof up. ned r a much better team in t20s than zim. zim shud hav taken part in march's icc qualifiers wid da oder associates nd ire shuld have qlified automatically instead

    • on September 17, 2012, 15:25 GMT

      Good Luck Lions !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • bigwonder on September 17, 2012, 15:38 GMT

      @Firdose, I think you are missing the point here. If you are indicating that having opening ceremony is a distraction to cricket then why is Olympics ceremony not distracting its participants or viewers. In which ODI world-cup event can a team relax on its first game? Just ask India how they got kicked out in the qualifier round in WI(2007). Not having an opening ceremony just indicates money problem and nothing else.

    • on September 17, 2012, 15:52 GMT

      Its time to show the colors boys. Lets start the journey to the World T20 title. God Bless MJ and co