Sri Lanka v West Indies, 2nd ODI, Colombo November 3, 2015

Strengthened Sri Lanka eye series win

43

Match facts

November 4, 2015
Start time 1430 local (0900 GMT)

Play 01:05
'Have to be ready for what comes our way' - Baptiste

Big Picture

Spectators who came to the opening ODI spent much of their time wondering if the rains would relent long enough to allow the game's completion. In the end, they were rewarded for their patience with a shortened match that featured myriad peaks and troughs for either team, hairpin bends, collapses and dropped catches, all leading to a delicious climax featuring unlikely heroes. Sri Lanka should have sauntered to victory after the start Tillakaratne Dilshan had given them. Instead, they had their middle order exposed by spin - not for the first time this home season - and squeaked home thanks to a steady hand from Ajantha Mendis.

What the exercise suggested, was that while there was a chasm between the quality of the Test teams, West Indies and Sri Lanka are well-matched in the shorter formats. Sri Lanka have a better top order, but West Indies have finishers who can put the ball into orbit. The hosts' seam attack is more reliable, but in Sunil Narine, West Indies have a spinner who can send a whole section of the batting order tumbling, in an over. With daily rains around now, shortening of matches may suit the visitors' explosive brand of cricket.

Sri Lanka will be strengthened, and West Indies weakened for the second ODI, however. Dinesh Chandimal is available for Sri Lanka again, after having served his one-match ban for an altercation with Ishant Sharma in August. Jason Holder, meanwhile, is suspended for the match due to slow over rates in the previous match, and Andre Russell remains in doubt due to the abdominal strain he sustained during the previous match. Those changes are significant. Holder and Russell had been West Indies' best batsmen in the first ODI, and Chandimal's return helps steady a wobbly middle order.

Form guide

Sri Lanka: WWLLW (last five completed matches, most recent first)
West Indies: LLWLL

In the spotlight

Lahiru Thirimanne's Test form has been mediocre all year, but on past tours he has been a rejuvenated batsman in ODIs. The cover drives begin to find the boundary, instead of a pair of hands in the slips. The swivel pulls and slog sweeps return to his game. And the movement of his limbs no longer invite comparisons with planks of wood afflicted by rigor mortis, which they did just before he was dropped in Tests. He played his 100th ODI on Sunday, but now needs a substantial score to shore up his place in the ODI side.

Marlon Samuels will have fond memories of his match-winning performance at the Premadasa Stadium in the World T20 final three years ago. His more recent outings on the island have been forgettable. Disqualified from bowling now, after allowing the 14-day grace period in which he can have his action tested to lapse, Samuels finds himself in charge of the team in Holders absence. Perhaps the extra responsibility can spark something in his batting.

Teams news

With Chandimal likely to return to the No. 4 position, Shehan Jayasuriya seems likeliest to make way from the top seven. Suranga Lakmal and a trimmer Lasith Malinga are likely to take the new ball, but Sri Lanka may consider playing tearaway quick Dushmantha Chameera ahead of one of their frontline spinners.

Sri Lanka (probable): 1 Kusal Perera, 2 Tillakaratne Dilshan, 3 Lahiru Thirimanne, 4 Dinesh Chandimal , 5 Angelo Mathews (capt), 6 Milinda Siriwardana, 7 Danushka Gunathilaka, 8 Sachithra Senanayake, 9, Ajantha Mendis 10 Lasith Malinga, 11 Suranga Lakmal

Ravi Rampaul is likely to play in Holder's stead. The team has said it will wait till Wednesday morning to make a call on Russell's fitness. If he can't play, West Indies will be tempted to play batsman Jason Mohammed, who bowls a little offspin. Jonathan Carter may also be required to bowl a few overs.

West Indies (probable): 1 Johnson Charles, 2 Andre Fletcher, 3 Darren Bravo, 4 Marlon Samuels, 5 Jonathan Carter, 6 Denesh Ramdin (wk), 7 Andre Russell/Jason Mohammed, 8 Carlos Brathwaite, 9 Sunil Narine, 10 Jerome Taylor, 11 Ravi Rampaul

Pitch and conditions

The pitch is unlikely to have changes substantially since Sunday. It had offered the seamers good bounce and a little bit of seam movement with the new ball, but the spinners got turn out of it as well.

Given the weather in Colombo over the past week, expect rain delays and interruptions.

Stats and trivia

  • Despite inconsistency in Tests, Thirimanne has made steady contributions in ODIs, averaging 41.05 last year, and 39.41 so far in 2015.
  • Denesh Ramdin needs 80 runs to complete 2000 in ODIs. He averages 24.93 after 99 innings.
  • Dinesh Chandimal and Thirimanne, who debuted in 2010, have both played 100 ODIs - 16 more than Ajantha Mendis, who debuted in 2008.

Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. @andrewffernando

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Pradeep on November 4, 2015, 9:41 GMT

    Reading all these comments especially Prem2248 makes me think future playing team of Sri Lanka has to definitely go beyond eleven players. The number of names he brings into the fray tells me he himself is lost with the playing count. The names of batters he brings forward plus Captain and few couple of bowlers here and there the number would be fit for a rugby encounter. Look except for baggage Thirimanne the rest is there in the team for a reason. So please be patient until time proves to have within us yet another Sangakkara, Mahela, Jayasuriya or a Aravinda. BTW Sangakkara and Jayasuriya until age 26-27 was going nowhere with their batting but got the worlds admiration for their performances as time went by.

  • Amila on November 4, 2015, 9:05 GMT

    Hope WI bowlers knows where to bowl when Tirimanne is batting ..

  • benny on November 4, 2015, 7:30 GMT

    Blackwood and kraigg brathwaite should definitely be in the ODI team aswell, the west indies need some balance at the top order and i dont think having 2 sloggers that arent really capable at the top level opening the batting for them. My team, 1,brathwaite 2.charles 3.bravo 4.blackwood 5.samuels 6.fletcher 7.holder 8.russell 9.brathwaite 10.narine 11.taylor

  • DINESH on November 4, 2015, 6:05 GMT

    Still Thirimane in the playing XI?

  • Juhry on November 4, 2015, 5:06 GMT

    WI team is not playing with their best 11, please make some changes in the team, make gunathilaka as the opening batsman replacing kusal perera who averages just 22 after playing 40+ innings as opening batsman. let shehan bat at no. 4 or 5. bring chameera in the team. dont take too many allrounders, that will not work for us, play with 5 bats pure batsman and 4 full time bowlers. (3 pacers and a spinner), give chances to kithruwan, this kusal, chandi,thisara are keep failing for years and years of time. so it doesn't matter if kithruwan replaced to one of their position, and also kapu performed well on the couple of matches he got a chance to play. so it will be good to give him a chance in a ODI also.

  • Kalhara on November 4, 2015, 5:02 GMT

    @Prem2248 - One more thing about the comments you made about Shehan. There is no doubt shehan has talent. But did you watched him batting..? In last T20 as well as in last ODI? Can you accept the shot he played against Narine? We have to accept the fact that he is not a technically sound batsman. But we lacking is a aggressive yet technically sound batsman to play upfront. Gunathilaka has that caliber and he proved it in many occasions. Or in this case, better to play Thiri forever. Shehan can be considered to play at No.08 as a Bowling all-rounder, just like Seekkuge or Sachith. But current squad, we do have 05 off-spinners already. So why on earth we need to play all these 05 off spinners in playing 11? Then better to play vandersey ahead Sachithra or Shehan, since he is a leggie..

  • sehan on November 4, 2015, 4:58 GMT

    @PREM2248 Selections should not be done considering school or u19 performance...why do you have domestic cricket if you can pick players straight away from school? According to you sanga should have never played for sl since he was an average school boy cricketer. Whats the point performing in school level if they cannot match it atleast in domestic cricket. Danushka's list A record should be considered as he has been selected to play odis...not his first class record.he has done really well in list A cricket not only in sl but also in england and nz against stronger opposition. He has been very consistent over the past 2 years. Needs to giv him a good run in top order.

  • Kalhara on November 4, 2015, 4:50 GMT

    @nickexplore - Thanks mate. Danushka will be fitted to any place in the batting order with time and experience. He has that caliber.. He was super consistent in last 3 tournaments (ODI as well as T20) by topping the tables consistently as I mentioned below.. What he needs now is international experience. Thiri enjoyed that enough.. So why not try some new and inform players instead. I believe, any player deserves a complete session (min 3 Int tours) to showcase his talent.. Not more. But here we are waiting for Thiri to perform for more than 1 1/2 years..

    @Prem2248 - Tell me one thing Bro.. On which basis you rate players? Are you trying to say he will not perform, just because he is from Panadura? Are you trying to say he is not eligible to play International cricket, just because he was an average player in school days or 02 years back? Then Sanga would be still playing tennis bro.. Danushka topped tables in 03 recent ODI & T20 tours away and locally so he reach this place.

  • SL on November 4, 2015, 4:35 GMT

    @Kalhara_18 - thanks for your update on Dana's record. I have seen this guy playing since he was at under 17 level. He is a really good bat. He wasn't the opener for Mahanama, as he used to bat at 3/4, and bowl medium pace. I think only after joining SSC he started to open and bowl off spin. Also, he is only the 2nd player to make the cut from that star studded '10 SL under 19 team after Kithruwan V. He definitely deserves a decent run, As most have pointed out not at 5, he should either open or come at 3, Surely he will do better against the pacers than Thiri.

  •   Wasantha De Silva on November 4, 2015, 4:15 GMT

    Currently our best batsmen and the most experience batsman is T.M. Dilshan, so suggesting that he should bat at no. 3 and Thiri bit out of form and struggling to seam bowlers so he should bat down the order, my team:

    1 Kusal, 2 Gunathilaka, 3 Dilshan, 4 Chandimal , 5 Mathews, 6 Thirimanne, 7 Siriwardana, 8 Ajantha, 9 Sachithra, 10 Lakmal, 11 Malinga/Chameera

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