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The Preview by Sriram Veera
May 2, 2010
Match FactsMonday, May 3,
The Big PictureIt's what Zimbabwe did in the warm-up games that has made this game a cracking prospect. They defeated both Australia and Pakistan to announce themselves in the Caribbean. All the pressure is now on Sri Lanka, for if they lose tomorrow, they will have to go back home. Only Mahela Jayawardene turned up in the first game. He sparkled as an opener in the IPL and promises to continue doing so here but it remains to be seen who steps up to support him. Angelo Matthews had a few good games with the bat in the IPL but Kumar Sangakkara and Tillakaratne Dilshan struggled to get going.
For Zimbabwe, the spinners have done the demolition job: Ray Price, Prosper Utseya, Graeme Cremer and Greg Lamb have been accurate and miserly. And Elton Chigumbura has starred with the bat. It's been a common theme in the recent months. Price and Utseya have often bowled with the new ball and Cremer has impressed with his legbreaks.
Form guide (most recent first)
Sri Lanka LLWLL
Watch out for...Ray Price is one of the more aggressive spinners out there in the world circuit. He can almost snarl at the batsman and has the longest follow-through for a spinner. He can attack or defend aggressively and is known for his nagging line and length.
Angelo Mathews is one of those impact cricketers who can win a game single-handedly. He has an undeniable talent with the bat and can be quite crafty with the ball. He is a rapidly maturing batsman who is learning how to finish games.
Sri Lanka (possible) 1 Tillakaratne Dilshan, 2 Mahela Jayawardene, 3 Kumar Sangakkara (capt, wk), 4 Dinesh Chandimal, 5 Angelo Mathews, 6 Sanath Jayasuriya, 7 Chamara Kapugedera, 8 Nuwan Kulasekara, 9 Ajantha Mendis, 10 Lasith Malinga, 11 Muttiah Muralitharan.
Zimbabwe (possible) 1 Hamilton Masakadza, 2 Vusi Sibanda, 3 Tatendu Taibu, 4 Brendon Taylor, 5 Charles Coventry, 6 Elton Chigumbura, 7 Andy Blignaut/Craig Ervine, 8 Graeme Cremer, 9 Prosper Utseya, 10 Ray Price, 11 Greg Lamb.
Pitch and conditions
The scores are likely to remain low in Providence, where the slow surface has been difficult for stroke making.
Stats and trivia
Quotes"Everyone is excited by the prospects for Zimbabwean cricket, but we are also realistic in terms of what we feel we can achieve in the short term."
"If we win every game from here we'll be champions. But there's no room for any more mistakes."
Trevor Bayliss lists out Sri Lanka's task ahead
The BCCI set up a three-man committee to tackle the problem of chucking at age-group and domestic cricket, and it has produced significant results in five years
The board's latest standoff with its players has had embarrassing consequences internationally, so any resolution now needs to be approached thoughtfully
What Australia have not done since returning a fractured unit from India is head back to Asia to play an Asian team. Two of their major weaknesses - handling spin and reverse swing - will be tested in the UAE by Pakistan
The WICB statement should cool down emotions and allow all parties involved to take the next step forward
Stats highlights from the fourth ODI between India and West Indies in Dharamsala
The gap between the haves and the have-nots is growing wider, and the disenchantment is forcing a devaluation of Test cricket among weaker teams
Players demanding that home pitches should be prepared to favour them don't realise it's a retaliatory business
ESPNcricinfo runs the rule over the preparation of all 16 Australia players ahead of the first Test, which starts in Dubai on Wednesday