West Indies v Sri Lanka, 2nd ODI, Trinidad April 11, 2008

Sri Lanka need to forget near-miss

Cricinfo staff


Mystery man: Ajantha Mendis took three wickets on his debut and is a real talent to watch © AFP
 

Match facts

Saturday, April 12, 2008 Start time 9.30am (13.30GMT)

Big picture

Sri Lanka had the opening one-dayer within their grasp before Shivnarine Chanderpaul took 10 off the final two balls from Chaminda Vaas. After the game, having had time to reflect, Mahela Jayawardene said he saw a lot of potential in his young team and there were plenty of encouraging performances. Even though West Indies came out on top, the first match left them with much to ponder. Their bowling lacked bite after the main three, while too many batsmen lost their wickets with poorly judged shots. They got away with it thanks to Chanderpaul, but that sort of rescue act won't happen very often.

Form - West Indies

Last five matches: LLLLW

Player to watch: If West Indies had more players with the spark and enthusiasm of Dwayne Bravo they'd have half as many worries. He rarely fails to contribute and bagged a career-best 4 for 32 on Thursday before a sparkling 36 of 37 balls, including a breathtaking back-foot drive over cover for six. Throw in his livewire fielding and he really is the all-round package.

Form - Sri Lanka

Last five matches: LLLWL

Player to watch: Muttiah Muralitharan is being rested for this series, but in Ajantha Mendis Sri Lanka may just have unearthed another gem. His liquorish allsorts of offspinners, legspinners and googlies left some of West Indies' finest prodding and poking as though in the dark. For a 23-year-old on debut his coolness under pressure was outstanding and he deserved to be on the winning side.

Team news

West Indies will have to consider strengthening their pace attack so Daren Powell will come back into the equation. The Sri Lankans found it too easy to milk Sulieman Benn and Darren Sammy on Thursday. Marlon Samuels' place will also come under threat - his mind seems preoccupied by the controversy over his bowling - so Runako Morton could be in line for a recall.

For Sri Lanka, Ishara Amerasinghe was the major weak link so he will be under pressure from fellow seamers Kaushalya Weeraratne and Thilan Thushara.

West Indies (probable) Chris Gayle, Devon Smith, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Marlon Samuels, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Dwayne Bravo, Patrick Browne (wk), Darren Sammy, Jerome Taylor, Daren Powell, Fidel Edwards

Sri Lanka (probable) Upul Tharanga, Mahela Udawatte, Kumar Sangakkara (wk), Mahela Jayawardene (capt), Tillakaratne Dilshan, Chamara Silva, Chamara Kapugedera, Nuwan Kulasekara, Chaminda Vaas, Ajantha Mendis, Kaushalya Weeraratne

Pitch and conditions

The surface for the opening match didn't encourage sustained periods of strokeplay. The early start will provide help for the quicks, so the captain winning the toss is likely to bowl. Showers can never be ruled out in Trinidad, so it's always wise to keep an eye on the Duckworth-Lewis sheets.

Quotes

"I have not recovered from the flu properly. I was shaking out there all day and I was feeling weak. When I went in to bat, I was trembling, and I was still struggling, but it worked out for me."
Shivnarine Chanderpaul explains how he battled illness in his match-winning knock

"The end-result is not a great one, but this sort of thing can happen. I thought we have played some of our best cricket, and I thought we also played some of our worst cricket, so we just have to find that middle ground and play well consistently. We showed great character getting back into the match, and to have a huge chance of winning the match after being 49 for five, I think says a lot about the character of the players in the team."
Trevor Bayliss, Sri Lanka's coach, does what all good coaches must do and looks for the positives

Comments