Teams hope for respite from rain
Match FactsFebruary 3, SSC
Start time 09.30 (04:00 GMT)
The spectre of rain looms large on the ongoing ODI series even though it had been rescheduled to the new year to avoid exactly that. The spate of inconclusive contests continued with the first ODI being abandoned due to rain at the SSC but not without the visitors again making a strong impression. West Indies had not played an ODI since the home series against South Africa in May and June last year but two of their players, one who had missed that series and another who had been dropped from the Test series against Sri Lanka, struck form to boost the visitors in the lead-up to the World Cup. Adrian Barath sizzled with a maiden ODI ton while Ramnaresh Sarwan marked his return to the national fold with 75 in a 162-run stand with his centurion partner.
Sri Lanka's batting was untested, thanks to the rain, but Lasith Malinga and Muttiah Muralitharan, their bowling mainstays, were back into ODI groove. Nuwan Kulasekara served his role of the back-up seamer with an economical spell though Ajantha Mendis went for runs - could it prompt the team to try out Rangana Herath? Left with just two games prior to the World Cup, barring the warm-ups, now is the time for the teams to test out their respective XVs. But beware the rain, for there's more forecast in Colombo on Thursday.
Form guide(Last five completed games)
Sri Lanka: LWWWW
West Indies: LLLLL
Players to watch out for …
Carlton Baugh: He reminds you of David Williams with his diminutive stature, and has been picked in the West Indies squad for the World Cup ahead of the more experienced Denesh Ramdin. Despite having made his debut in international cricket more than seven years ago, Baugh has been unable to cement his place as a regular largely due to his inconsistency with the bat. He made a half-century in the Test series against Sri Lanka but an average of 14.86 in ODIs doesn't really promise much.
Chamara Kapugedera: Inconsistency has been his problem, too. His reputation as a big hitter and a potential game-changer down the order has ensured his place in Sri Lanka's starting XIs for the last three years but his results have been mixed. Kapugedera has shuffled positions in the middle order and has his share of attacking cameos but, ahead of the World Cup, would want a better workout.
West Indies have opener Devon Smith in their ranks, but he may again have to sit out. Shivnarine Chanderpaul batted at No.6 but his style of play is better suited at the top of the order while Dwayne Bravo, who missed the first game due to a niggle, has to be brought back at some stage. "He has taken part in the training session fully and he has done everything that has been asked of him. He comes into the reckoning for Thursday's match," coach Ottis Gibson said of Bravo's chances.
West Indies (probable): 1 Chris Gayle, 2 Adrian Barath, 3 Ramnaresh Sarwan, 4 Shivnarine Chanderpaul, 5 Darren Bravo, 6 Dwayne Bravo, 7 Kieron Pollard, 8 Darren Sammy (capt), 9 Carlton Baugh, 10 Nikita Miller, 11 Kemar Roach.
Sri Lanka (probable): 1 Upul Tharanga, 2 Tillakaratne Dilshan, 3 Mahela Jayawardene, 4 Kumar Sangakkara, 5 Thilan Samaraweera, 6 Angelo Mathews, 7 Chamara Kapugedera, 8 Rangana Herath, 9 Nuwan Kulasekara, 10 Lasith Malinga, 11 Muttiah Muralitharan.
Stats and trivia
- The last time a West Indian spinner bagged a five-for in ODIs was in 2003 - Chris Gayle against Australia at St George's.
- Adrian Barath's century was the first by a West Indies batsman against Sri Lanka in ODIs after Brian Lara in 2003.
- The first ODI was the third abandoned 50-over game between Sri Lanka and West Indies.
"The partnership was fantastic for us and that is the kind of approach we will need in the future going forward - with our senior players guiding our younger players. It was great to see. In tough situations we need them to get us to match-winning totals and ultimately win matches for us."
West Indies coach Ottis Gibson on Adrian Barath and Ramnaresh Sarwan