Under-pressure Sri Lanka face buoyant Zimbabwe
Match FactsMonday, May 3,
Start time 0930 (1330 GMT)
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
- Mahela Jayawardene smashed 81 runs as an opener in the first game against New Zealand. It was the first time he had opened in an Twenty20 international but he has had considerable success as an opener in domestic T20s and in the IPL games.
- Ray Price has played five Twenty20 games with an economy rate of 3.5, and has been hit for only two sixes.
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."
Alan Butcher, Zimbabwe's coach, is not getting carried away by the recent results
"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
Sriram Veera is a staff writer at Cricinfo© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.