Sri Lanka v West Indies, 3rd ODI, Pallekele November 6, 2015

Inconsistent West Indies look to salvage pride, ranking points

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Match facts

November 7, 2015
Start time 1430 local (0900 GMT)

Tillakaratne Dilshan has whipped up 918 runs in ODIs in Pallekele to add to 13 wickets © Associated Press

Big Picture

West Indies have now spent more than a month in Sri Lanka, but are yet to have a lot to show for their time on the island. The Tests went poorly. They have surged in patches during the ODIs, yet now only have pride and a few rankings points to play for in the final match. The points, though, are worth more to them than most - captain Jason Holder has repeatedly pointed out that his team are not safe from being cut from the 10-team 2019 World Cup.

Though Sunil Narine had very nearly won them the first match with one triple-wicket over, West Indies returned to a worrying pattern in the second ODI. They claimed an early wicket on Wednesday, but as had been the case during the World Cup, were toothless through the middle overs.

Maybe a shift to the central plateau will do them good. The Pallekele pitch has usually assisted new-ball bowlers, and has been particularly given to zippy seam under lights. If Jerome Taylor and company can claim three wickets inside the first 15 overs, West Indies may yet succeed in putting Sri Lanka's inexperienced lower-middle order under pressure.

Sri Lanka may take the opportunity to mix up its attack a little, particularly as Lasith Malinga's return to form now provides them a reliable failsafe. Dushmantha Chameera appears likeliest to come into the XI, but legspinner Jeffrey Vandersay may be in line for an ODI debut as well.

Form guide

Sri Lanka: WWWLL (last five matches, most recent first)
West Indies: LLLWL

In the spotlight

If it's a Pallekele ODI, it's usually a Tillakaratne Dilshan sort of party. He is the venue's top-scorer by a distance, with 918 runs at an average of 83.45 at the venue, and he's also the second-highest wicket-taker, with 13 scalps at 21.61. There are rains forecast for Saturday, but maybe match officials should ask Dilshan to try parting the clouds so the match can go ahead, such is his power in these surrounds.

Darren Bravo has looked in decent touch right through the tour, but has found ways of getting himself out before he has gone on to truly substantial scores. Usually one of West Indies' better players of spin, he has been dismissed by slow bowlers on both occasions this series. He'll want to forge past those middling scores and collect at least one match-winning knock before leaving Sri Lanka's shores.

Teams news

With Ajantha Mendis left out of the T20 squad, Sri Lanka may leave him out in favour of one of the younger bowlers. Sachithra Senanayake may also conceivably be rested.

Sri Lanka (probable): 1 Kusal Perera (wk), 2 Tillakaratne Dilshan, 3 Lahiru Thirimanne, 4 Dinesh Chandimal , 5 Angelo Mathews (capt.), 6 Milinda Siriwardana, 7 Shehan Jayasuriya, 8 Sachithra Senanayake/Jeffrey Vandersay, 9, Dushmantha Chameera, 10 Lasith Malinga, 11 Suranga Lakmal

Andre Russell and Denesh Ramdin both appear to have recovered from their ailments, and Holder is also available for this match, which means West Indies are back to full strength. They may return to the combination they fielded in the first ODI.

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

Pitch and conditions

Showers are expected throughout the day on Saturday, so another shortened match looms. The Pallekele surface is normally more conducive to bounce, carry and seam than the Khettarama pitch, though there is often turn at the venue as well.

Stats and trivia


  • Kusal Perera has three 50-plus scores in from his last six innings. Each of those scores has earned him a man-of-the-match award.
  • Lasith Malinga has the most wickets at Pallekele, with 21 scalps at an average of 23.04.
  • Andre Russell needs 15 more runs to reach 1000 in ODIs

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Claudia on November 7, 2015, 16:43 GMT

    Everyone going on about Fletcher to be dropped. Blackwood and Carter be dropped too. They too are not creating runs either

  • Ammarhit on November 7, 2015, 8:56 GMT

    @yoonoooo He certainly looked better, he's begun to bowl with accuracy again and his fielding has improved massively. His runouts in the last match proved it. Definitely lost weight too, so at least he is trying now. He's taken his time but finally he's getting into his groove again.

  • jaspreet singh on November 7, 2015, 8:06 GMT

    This is the request for wcb plz sought ur things with player . Wi is the best in world but with players not playin nothin is goin in their way . My wi squad would be for odi

  • yoonus on November 7, 2015, 8:03 GMT

    usless malinga....... sl has no guts to put him out...

  • Luckwin on November 7, 2015, 6:54 GMT

    Dilshan is Magician in Pallekele, 14 matches 918 runs Bat Avg 83.45 with 5 Centuries. and with the Bowl 13 wickets with Avg 21.6 this will tell you the end result.

  • Rohan on November 7, 2015, 6:37 GMT

    Drop Senanayake and Mendis. Bring in Vandersay and Chameera. It will be a very strong team which will be very difficult to beat.

  • Juhry on November 7, 2015, 6:24 GMT

    we have to try out lot of yous players in this mathc, dilly cannot be rested, coz he needs a century against WI to become the first sri lankan to score century against all test playing nation, so instead of mathews,malinga,thiri or kusal we can bring, chameera, gunathilaka, jeffrey and see how they are performing. also gunathilaka should bat as an opening batsman and shehan should bat at #4 or #5. 3 pacers, 1 spinner and the allrounders bowl the remaining 10 overs. we have too many allrounders in the team, if siriwardana and shehan cannot play a long innings when it needed we have to look for a pure batsman for their place. not allrounder or bowlers. coz mathews itself capable enough to bowl 10 overs.

  •   Kasun PremaRanjith on November 7, 2015, 4:03 GMT

    There was a time when these two nations went head to head like two giants..Im a srilankan but i love windies cricket.. lara, walsh, shiv, sarwan those who da guys i love to windies cricket in my childhood.. then gayle, sammy , bravo , pollard...i mean where r these guys? if they were in ODIs we could have to have a great competition...but anyway hope to have a good game in 3rd ODI..in my Opinion Sl should go for a change..mendis out for chameera or vandersay..legspin can be a real deal for windies batting lineup.bt pitch would be da different.letz see.. my XI would be: 1.kusal , 2.dilshan , 3.thiri , 4.chandi , 5.mathews , 6.milinda , 7.shehan , 8.sachi 9.vandersay/chameera 10.malinga , 11.lakmal

  • Marcus on November 7, 2015, 2:26 GMT

    It is not understood the reason Adjantha Mendis is not in the 20/20 squad for he has kept many a records against mighty Australia which may never be broken and he is not old as many fans appear to think he is one month younger than Senanayake the date of birth of Ajantha Mendis is March 11 1985 and S Senanayake is Feb 9 1985 and in a T/20 why is the necessity for many half bowlers half batters when there is only 20 overs. it appears the captains and selectors are making the same mistake as they did in the 2015 world by keeping a very important bowler out of the world cup and loosing it and in like manner they will loose the 20/20 world cup

  • Marcus on November 7, 2015, 2:26 GMT

    It is not understood the reason Adjantha Mendis is not in the 20/20 squad for he has kept many a records against mighty Australia which may never be broken and he is not old as many fans appear to think he is one month younger than Senanayake the date of birth of Ajantha Mendis is March 11 1985 and S Senanayake is Feb 9 1985 and in a T/20 why is the necessity for many half bowlers half batters when there is only 20 overs. it appears the captains and selectors are making the same mistake as they did in the 2015 world by keeping a very important bowler out of the world cup and loosing it and in like manner they will loose the 20/20 world cup

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