About the Match
England defeated Afghanistan by 15 runs to make it to second place in Group 1 with 4 points after 3 matches; they will now take on Sri Lanka, which has only 2 points in the bag and face the danger of elimination here, on 26th March at Delhi. Sri Lanka suffered defeat at the hands of West Indies after failing to defend 122 runs and will need to bounce back in the upcoming game if they want to keep their semi-final hopes alive. England has reinvented itself to overcome the challenges in this format of the game and they did well against a strong team like South Africa to make it to the top; it needs to be seen if they can continue with their winning momentum and reserve a berth in the semi-finals.
Darren Sammy is back donning the captain’s hat and will definitely motivate his mates to do well here; most players have the experience of playing in the sub-continent conditions and bring their skills to the table. The batting line-up has players like Dwayne Bravo, Chris Gayle, Marlon Samuels, Andre Russell and Denesh Ramdin, who can get the big runs once they are settled. All-rounders like Sulieman Benn and Darren Sammy along with others like Carlos Brathwaite and Jason Holder bring depth to the team and must come out all guns blazing here.
Speedsters like Jerome Taylor, Andre Russell, Jason Holder, Andre Fletcher and Sammy can pull out some tricks from the bag to stifle the opponents; spinners Samuel Badree, Ashley Nurse and Gayle can help the team with regular breakthroughs when needed. The conditions will suit the spinners and they must strategize well here in order to contain the English batsmen.
Overall, the West Indies have a rejuvenated squad consisting of experienced batsmen and bowlers, who have proven to be match-winners in this format of the game. They should be cautious against complacency and must keep themselves motivated to do well here.
The batting line-up collapsed against West Indies with players like Dilshan, Chandimal, and Thirimanne failing to build the foundation. Mathews and Perera tried to revive the innings; while the captain scored 20 runs, Perera posted a well-made 40 off 29 balls but they could muster only 122 runs in the end. Although Siriwardana and Vandersay took 3 wickets between them, it wasn’t enough to win the match.
Against Afghanistan, it was Dilshan’s unbeaten 83 off 56 deliveries that helped them chase down 154 runs comfortably; Mathews, Perera and Chandimal made useful contributions but they need to come out all guns blazing in the upcoming match. Herath took 2 wickets while Perera finished with a figure of 3-33; Kulasekara took a wicket but gave away too many runs.
Overall, they need to combine well as a unit and out up a better performance in all departments of the game; they seem to be relying too much on couple of individuals, which needs to be corrected.
England’s win against South Africa has definitely boosted their morale; although Sri Lanka has experienced players, we feel England with its psychological advantage is better placed to emerge victorious.