SL v WI, Super Eights, World Twenty20, Pallekele September 28, 2012

Spin-heavy teams meet with semi-final implications

56

Match facts

September 29, 2012
Start time 1930 (1400 GMT)

Big picture

Sri Lanka and West Indies have hardly had highlight moments when playing each other. Their most talked-about match is actually one that didn't happen, when West Indies refused to tour during the 1996 World Cup. There is Viv Richards' 181 not out, there is Brian Lara's 169 and his superlative Test tour of Sri Lanka in 2001, there are Muttiah Muralitharan's exploits and Shivnarine Chanderpaul's finish with four and six, but you really have to strain the memory to come up with those.

A glorious rivalry is not about to start on Saturday, but they play a crucial Super Eights game, one that could possibly assure one of them a semi-final place. It is a crucial game for the sides for different reasons. Sri Lanka don't have a positive net run-rate after their Super Over win, and West Indies will not be playing the last game of their group, so neither side will want to get into a net run-rate situation. The team that loses, though, could find themselves in exactly that situation.

Form guide (completed matches, most recent first)

Sri Lanka WLWLL
West Indies WLWWL

Watch out for

International cricket went about 36 years without finger-flickers after John Gleeson retired in the '70s, but on Saturday we will have two of that variety pitting their wits against each other: Ajantha Mendis and Sunil Narine. Both of them had an ordinary outings on the flat track in Pallekele. Mendis went for a career-worst 1 for 48, and Narine 0 for 33. They will both be itching to correct that record.

Lasith Malinga may not have taken a five-for or bowled wicket-maidens, but he made an impact at a time when most bowlers are looking for towels for their sweaty palms. His captain Mahela Jayawardene summed it up well after his Super Over: "Another day he might go for runs but you always back your ace bowler. It is good to have somebody who has control mentally over that situation. After that you try to execute your skills. It is important that you are tough in that situation and Mali is one of those guys."

Team news

Ajantha Mendis is yet to fully recover from his side strain. The other spinner they used in the previous game, Akila Dananjaya, is also in doubt after suffering a fracture on his left cheek bone. A decision on whether he will play is to be taken on Saturday. They might also need to look at whether they need an extra specialist batsman ahead of one of three allrounders, or even one of the specialist bowlers.

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

The legspinner Samuel Badree slotted in nicely against England, and Andre Russell, who came into the XI in the match against Ireland, wasn't even called upon to bowl. Choosing between Russell and Fidel Edwards might be West Indies' only dilemma.

West Indies (probable) 1 Chris Gayle, 2 Johnson Charles, 3 Marlon Samuels, 4 Dwayne Bravo, 5 Kieron Pollard, 6 Darren Sammy (capt), 7 Andre Russell/Fidel Edwards, 8 Denesh Ramdin (wk), 9 Sunil Narine, 10 Ravi Rampaul, 11 Samuel Badree.

Pitch and conditions

Pallekele has provided the truest pitches in the tournament and consistent high scores. It has two more days to go through, and with a largish square available it should hold up. The rain and its imminent arrival remain a mystery after a seven-month dry period. The locals are expecting rain any minute, but the organisers will be hoping that any minute doesn't arrive until Monday.

Stats and trivia

  • The only instance of a bat being carried through in a Twenty20 international has happened in a Sri Lanka-West Indies match. Chris Gayle scored 63 not out in West Indies' 101 all out in Sri Lanka's semi-final victory in 2009 World Twenty20.
  • In 263 matches before this World Twenty20, 126 maidens were bowled which is a pedestrian rate compared to 18 maidens in 16 matches of this World Twenty20.

    Quotes

    "He bowled really well and came back even with a knock. Good that he got a game under the belt."
    Mahela Jayawardene on Akila Dananjaya

    Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on September 29, 2012, 18:20 GMT

    dear Rajasekaran Paramasivam, dont u know that small tissues can give big issues.... well done lions.....:)

  • Riddymon on September 29, 2012, 13:43 GMT

    @Anish They play New Zealand after Sri Lanka. That will be their last group match.

  • on September 29, 2012, 13:23 GMT

    kindly explain what does this line means "and West Indies will not be playing the last game of their group".

  • SriSanka on September 29, 2012, 13:23 GMT

    good luck Sri Lanka..!!!!!!

  • rchathuranga on September 29, 2012, 13:13 GMT

    best wishes for the lions , and we like WI too encounter between two world loving teams

  • LoveT20 on September 29, 2012, 13:06 GMT

    @abubakerjatoi....the final 2 matches in group 1 take place on Oct.1st...WI vs NZ and then SL vs England. What the writer of the article tried to explain is that since the WI/NZ game is the one being played earlier, those 2 teams wont have the luxury of knowing exactly what would be required to qualify for the semis if it came down to net run rate, but SL and England would know since they will be playing the LAST or latter match. Hope u understand now. Cheers! Go Windies!

  • on September 29, 2012, 13:03 GMT

    Best of Luck Siri lanka .....Fan from Pakistan :)

  • on September 29, 2012, 12:53 GMT

    If WI beat SL they can win this tournament. But I'm very concerned about their bowling attack. SL have very good players of spin, and our medium pace attack is not potent enough. However stranger things have happened in the game of cricket. All the best WI.

  • Glorizee on September 29, 2012, 12:48 GMT

    Salaam Sri Lankans, I strongly feel you as a team need bit of encouragement and you can put down the Windians by a comprehensively winning in all departments. From me and my Pakistani countrymen, we all wish you a happy match today. God bless you .. Go and crush windians and we will be there to do the same against mighty india ..

  • rashid_abbasi on September 29, 2012, 12:11 GMT

    go Lanka go our best wishes with you and hope we will meet in final from pakistan

  • on September 29, 2012, 18:20 GMT

    dear Rajasekaran Paramasivam, dont u know that small tissues can give big issues.... well done lions.....:)

  • Riddymon on September 29, 2012, 13:43 GMT

    @Anish They play New Zealand after Sri Lanka. That will be their last group match.

  • on September 29, 2012, 13:23 GMT

    kindly explain what does this line means "and West Indies will not be playing the last game of their group".

  • SriSanka on September 29, 2012, 13:23 GMT

    good luck Sri Lanka..!!!!!!

  • rchathuranga on September 29, 2012, 13:13 GMT

    best wishes for the lions , and we like WI too encounter between two world loving teams

  • LoveT20 on September 29, 2012, 13:06 GMT

    @abubakerjatoi....the final 2 matches in group 1 take place on Oct.1st...WI vs NZ and then SL vs England. What the writer of the article tried to explain is that since the WI/NZ game is the one being played earlier, those 2 teams wont have the luxury of knowing exactly what would be required to qualify for the semis if it came down to net run rate, but SL and England would know since they will be playing the LAST or latter match. Hope u understand now. Cheers! Go Windies!

  • on September 29, 2012, 13:03 GMT

    Best of Luck Siri lanka .....Fan from Pakistan :)

  • on September 29, 2012, 12:53 GMT

    If WI beat SL they can win this tournament. But I'm very concerned about their bowling attack. SL have very good players of spin, and our medium pace attack is not potent enough. However stranger things have happened in the game of cricket. All the best WI.

  • Glorizee on September 29, 2012, 12:48 GMT

    Salaam Sri Lankans, I strongly feel you as a team need bit of encouragement and you can put down the Windians by a comprehensively winning in all departments. From me and my Pakistani countrymen, we all wish you a happy match today. God bless you .. Go and crush windians and we will be there to do the same against mighty india ..

  • rashid_abbasi on September 29, 2012, 12:11 GMT

    go Lanka go our best wishes with you and hope we will meet in final from pakistan

  • on September 29, 2012, 12:06 GMT

    After Pakistan both are my favorite teams with Afghanistan. Wish best luck to both. Lets hope to see Gayle , Mahle , Dilshan in full action :)

  • Royden on September 29, 2012, 12:04 GMT

    Why isn't West Indies playing their final match, need some clarification on this please.

  • Late-Cut on September 29, 2012, 12:00 GMT

    Sri Lanka have never been defeated by WIndies in T20's. I mean ever...So I highly doubt that Its gonna change this time, specially when SL are playing on their own soil. GO SRI LANKA........................

  • abubakerjatoi on September 29, 2012, 11:49 GMT

    no one answered my question.. please answer... What does this sentence mean in this article... and West Indies will not be playing the last game of their group, What does it mean??? will west indies not be playing with NZ and why???

  • on September 29, 2012, 11:45 GMT

    I get a feeling malinga will weather Gaylestorm today with a yorker

  • Lions_Roar on September 29, 2012, 11:44 GMT

    Gayle we love to see him batting but he will be definitely a victim of Malinga....Road to Semis..Gud Luck Sri Lanka...

  • Vibhanu on September 29, 2012, 11:10 GMT

    very good pitch made by the curator..which will suit to sl..it seems ball doesn't cme to the bat and it will give very hard time for west indies..

  • waseemrana8 on September 29, 2012, 10:55 GMT

    Why WI will not play his last match in group stage?

  • immithegr8 on September 29, 2012, 10:52 GMT

    IMO, WI might win this game with a close margin. For SFs, WI, WL, Pak, SA will qualify.

  • mrazashah on September 29, 2012, 10:44 GMT

    WI is favorite but my vote with Sri Lank... All the Best Lankan Lions................. do it loins.....with full spirits

  • on September 29, 2012, 9:57 GMT

    it will be a gr8 match!!!and w,indies have better chance to win

  • VijayaBhaskarDK on September 29, 2012, 9:31 GMT

    @abubakerjatoi, " West Indies will not be playing the last game of their group" means the last match of this group is scheduled on 01 st October. where West indies will face NZ at 10.00 GMT where as the last match of the group in super eight at 14.00 GMT will be played between SL & ENG. hope yu got it.

  • on September 29, 2012, 9:29 GMT

    @Rajasekaran Paramasivam Hopefully not as one sided as Ind vs Aus yesterday :p

  • on September 29, 2012, 9:08 GMT

    dananjaya is next muralifor SL ,t/4 do not allow him play IPL and he has good bowling veriation.

  • on September 29, 2012, 9:06 GMT

    @Rajasekaran- Did you watch Ind Vs Aus? Guess not... That's called one sided if you don't know the meaning

  • Vibhanu on September 29, 2012, 8:16 GMT

    D/N game..hence Ajantha Mendis will be very useful..we should bat first..with scoreboard pressure i dont think west indians can score large..

  • on September 29, 2012, 8:12 GMT

    munaweera should in for a spinner,coz this is batting pitch and probably high scoring game.even in New Zealand game,there are not much for spin bowling,so sri lanka shoud include another batsmen for today's game.

  • gohar14 on September 29, 2012, 7:42 GMT

    Malinga will certainly be the key for Sri Lanka, he is capable of getting the all important wicket of Gayle.

  • SL_Lover on September 29, 2012, 7:35 GMT

    Wish u all the Best Sri Lanka !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • on September 29, 2012, 7:08 GMT

    Pallakale track is getting slower and lower after 10 overs....and spinners are not getting turn..It is dangerous of playing too many spinners against chris gyle at a flat tack...My opnion is to bring Eranga as the new bowl partner of Kule and play one spinner with Dilshan ...and use maliga after the 10th over....It is better to replace Chandimal instead of Thirimanne in the flat tracks...

  • siri12345 on September 29, 2012, 6:57 GMT

    lol......this time none of the indians came here to make fun of srilanka.and the reason is very very well known to all.lol hahaha.anyways best of luck srilanka.we should seal our semi ,s place today itself.

  • on September 29, 2012, 6:57 GMT

    Go srilanka goggggggggggggggggfffffggvvvvvvgvbvvgvggggggggggggggggggggggggggggg

  • on September 29, 2012, 6:54 GMT

    what does the author mean when he says "and West Indies will not be playing the last game of their group"

  • senthil25 on September 29, 2012, 6:48 GMT

    All the best for Both a teams...........i want Srilanka in semis, but today west indies to win......because they gain some money if they win this tournament......Pls ICC keep the Match between ASIAN VS REST OF WORLD.......Pls i want to see India,Srilanka,Pakistan,Bangladesh to be one team.........against Worlds.......4 Test Match & 5 Odi & 3 T20Matchs.............hi friends did U like this, If So pls choose the best 11 for Asian and rest of world.........

  • on September 29, 2012, 6:35 GMT

    today windies include Gayle narine will learn how to play t2o against SL.take my word out swing ball of Kula will send the Gayle back to hut withing first 3 overs.but WI will come 2nd in the group.SL has no fight against weaken England

  • VijayaBhaskarDK on September 29, 2012, 4:27 GMT

    In T20  Chris Gayle hits SiX in every 11.8 balls and boundary in every 4.7 balls. He can alone win this match. Only thing he needs to defend some overs from the top bowler of the day.

    In my view Gayle & Charles should open the innings one down russels two down pollard, if gayle ( Hopefully he win't ) fails Samuel can be the replacement.

    Pollard should spend some time to read the wicket and ball, then he can thrash it with straight bat. This pitch Is known as paradise for the batsman, so right shorts can fetch you plenty.

    Windies has more powerful talents like Pollard, Samuels, Bravo, Charles,Sammy & russels to  take the scoreboard beyond 260+

    All the best windies, every viewers are waiting for the big treat from you  once again.

  • Lakpj on September 29, 2012, 3:57 GMT

    If Sri Lankans can control WI hitters, they will win this. WI bowling is not upto the mark. it was evident from the England game too. Eng were 0-2 but ended up scoring over 160 for just 4 wickets. And SL beat a Gayleless WI team easily in a warmup match. So obviously Gayle would decide the WI fate.

  • bdk_ on September 29, 2012, 3:42 GMT

    Sidharth, for me, their most memorable match was the one played for the try nation Championship in 1995/96 season in Sharjah. (ODI no. 1010 16 October 1995) SL made 329 in chasing 333 with a one of the all time memorable innings in one days, by Hashan Thilakarathne. SL required 4 runs in last ball but Hashan was caught at deep mid wicket by Williams - a similar catch taken by Dilshan in super over against New Zealand in 2012 World T20.

  • bddhika_harindat on September 29, 2012, 3:25 GMT

    Looking forward for an exciting game. Thank god..those Indian folks have not commented here since their thumping lose last night. Should be a good lesson for them and should understand they cannot win every game on this earth. Finally Dhoni had to say it was due to wet condiitions...hahaha...

  • Prem2248 on September 29, 2012, 2:39 GMT

    In T/20 there is a huge margin for reckless batting, so 3 seniors try to thrive on these flat wkts and try to reinforce their positions till the next WC. If they've a genuine interest of the Country's Cricket what they'd have done is to allow the youngsters to play with less pressure (as front-liners) as most other Countries do. As we all know D'shan was a nothing batsman as a middle order batter (even M'ela &S'kara were same e.g.2003 WC), he came to prominence only after he's allowed to bat as an opener with less pressure. Give the same opportunity to stroke-filled young batters of quick reflexes such as M'hews & C'mal. I'd love to see AngeloPerera open batting with Bhanuka (1st Cl Ba Av around 45) in ODIs. They have been showing their class since their young age of 15 & ending up their school careers by winning the Best Schoolboy batsman's Awards. It's rather strange to note that the club administrations of NCC &SSC using them as No. 7-8 batter thus preventing them from performing.

  • LifeWithBoundaries on September 29, 2012, 1:54 GMT

    Can somebody please explain what this is all about": "West Indies will not be playing the last game of their group"?

  • SLKosala on September 29, 2012, 1:37 GMT

    SL must be surly having a plan for Gayle. When he's gone its easily one sided. All the best for SL.

  • Crunchtime1 on September 29, 2012, 1:32 GMT

    Please for gods' sake, bat angelo mathews no later than 4. I beseech thee. Just let the guy bat...

  • on September 29, 2012, 1:23 GMT

    @abubakerjatoi it implies that WI would be playing the day game vs NZ and SL would face ENG in the evening

  • cric_bd on September 29, 2012, 0:07 GMT

    hope both of mendis nd donanjaya can play 4 them.......

  • Faiz_Malhi on September 29, 2012, 0:02 GMT

    60-40 to ........................

  • rumcork69 on September 28, 2012, 22:31 GMT

    Looking forward to Narine vs Mendis and hopefully the the two slinger Malinga vs Fidel. C'mon Windies

  • amemberoftheelect23 on September 28, 2012, 21:09 GMT

    i would not change anyone from the last match. "if it aint broke dont fix it" i always say. And why is it that andre russell's name is constantly a maybe. he averages mid 30s with the bat in ODI. y is it taking so long for everyone, including himself, to recognise that he is a batting all-rounder

  • Surajdon9 on September 28, 2012, 19:54 GMT

    All the Best Lankan Lions.................

  • on September 28, 2012, 19:01 GMT

    i dont understand y dnt they replace chandimal with thrimane.....2ndly they should include herath for akila...cz the pace of the akila would be a treat to gayle to stand deliever....if batting 1st sl also should promote kulasekara on one down....

  • on September 28, 2012, 18:26 GMT

    All the best Sri Lanka .........

  • on September 28, 2012, 18:03 GMT

    hope very gud match...plz make long boundries! WI nt gud in running btwn wickets and there edges also going more than 75m

  • swat1999 on September 28, 2012, 17:36 GMT

    Waiting for this match!! Wish Sr Lanka will be win the match

  • VijayaBhaskarDK on September 28, 2012, 17:33 GMT

    In T20  Chris Gayle hits SiX in every 11.8 balls and boundary in every 4.7 balls. He can alone win this match. Only thing he needs to defend some overs from the top bowler of the day.

    In my view Gayle & Charles should open the innings one down russels two down pollard, if gayle ( Hopefully he win't ) fails Samuel can be the replacement.

    Pollard should spend some time to read the wicket and ball, then he can thrash it with straight bat. This pitch Is known as paradise for the batsman, so right shorts can fetch you plenty.

    Windies has more powerful talents like Pollard, Samuels, Bravo, Charles,Sammy & russels to  take the scoreboard beyond 260+

    All the best windies, every viewers are waiting for the big treat from you  once again.

  • abubakerjatoi on September 28, 2012, 16:52 GMT

    I cannot understand the meaning of this sentence, " West Indies will not be playing the last game of their group" Can you explain it please???

  • Htc-Android on September 28, 2012, 16:48 GMT

    mendis should be droped and herath should be brought back.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • Htc-Android on September 28, 2012, 16:48 GMT

    mendis should be droped and herath should be brought back.

  • abubakerjatoi on September 28, 2012, 16:52 GMT

    I cannot understand the meaning of this sentence, " West Indies will not be playing the last game of their group" Can you explain it please???

  • VijayaBhaskarDK on September 28, 2012, 17:33 GMT

    In T20  Chris Gayle hits SiX in every 11.8 balls and boundary in every 4.7 balls. He can alone win this match. Only thing he needs to defend some overs from the top bowler of the day.

    In my view Gayle & Charles should open the innings one down russels two down pollard, if gayle ( Hopefully he win't ) fails Samuel can be the replacement.

    Pollard should spend some time to read the wicket and ball, then he can thrash it with straight bat. This pitch Is known as paradise for the batsman, so right shorts can fetch you plenty.

    Windies has more powerful talents like Pollard, Samuels, Bravo, Charles,Sammy & russels to  take the scoreboard beyond 260+

    All the best windies, every viewers are waiting for the big treat from you  once again.

  • swat1999 on September 28, 2012, 17:36 GMT

    Waiting for this match!! Wish Sr Lanka will be win the match

  • on September 28, 2012, 18:03 GMT

    hope very gud match...plz make long boundries! WI nt gud in running btwn wickets and there edges also going more than 75m

  • on September 28, 2012, 18:26 GMT

    All the best Sri Lanka .........

  • on September 28, 2012, 19:01 GMT

    i dont understand y dnt they replace chandimal with thrimane.....2ndly they should include herath for akila...cz the pace of the akila would be a treat to gayle to stand deliever....if batting 1st sl also should promote kulasekara on one down....

  • Surajdon9 on September 28, 2012, 19:54 GMT

    All the Best Lankan Lions.................

  • amemberoftheelect23 on September 28, 2012, 21:09 GMT

    i would not change anyone from the last match. "if it aint broke dont fix it" i always say. And why is it that andre russell's name is constantly a maybe. he averages mid 30s with the bat in ODI. y is it taking so long for everyone, including himself, to recognise that he is a batting all-rounder

  • rumcork69 on September 28, 2012, 22:31 GMT

    Looking forward to Narine vs Mendis and hopefully the the two slinger Malinga vs Fidel. C'mon Windies