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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
After the tragedy of Phillip Hughes' death, this match showed that cricket and life will continue to go on. This time Test cricket dug in and got through to tea.
Virat Kohli's innings on the final day transcended the conditions, the bowlers and his batting partners, and when it was all in vain, he displayed remarkable grace in defeat
The new stand-in captain has the makings of a long-term leader, given his ability to stay ahead of the game
Both batsmen seemingly have buckets of talent at their disposal and the backing of their captains, but soft dismissals relentlessly follow both around the Test arena
The failed gamble of handing Karn Sharma a Test debut despite him having a moderate first-class record means India have to rethink who their spinner will be
Turning your back on a system that the whole cricketing world wants a discussion on, refusing to discuss it because it is not 100%, is not good enough
After a long time we have seen an Indian team and captain enjoy the challenge of trying to overcome stronger opposition in an overseas Test