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|Dhananjaya de Silva||6||3||1||0||200.00|
|Dhananjaya de Silva||10.0||0||49||0||4.90|
We are down to the last few matches in the ICC Cricket World Cup, and the race to the top-four is well and truly alive. England, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and Bangladesh are fighting for the fourth spot with New Zealand firmly placed on the third spot because of their splendid run in the earlier part of the tournament. While England, Pakistan and Bangladesh are still in a considerably better position, Sri Lanka need to win their two upcoming fixtures and also require the results to other fixtures to fall their way. Their next assignment is against West Indies, who are already out of the race, on 1st July at The Riverside Stadium, Chester-le-Street, Durham. With South Africa winning their last match, this match will also play a significant role in governing the bottom-place in the points table which is something both sides would like to avoid.
While Sri Lanka's win over England a few days ago opened up the points table beautifully, their loss against South Africa reduced their chances to qualify to slim. They now not only need to win both of their upcoming fixture, including the one against India but also need a few outcomes to fall their way.
Sri Lanka's batting has been their Achilles heel in the tournament thus far which was once again on display in their 9-wicket loss to South Africa. The dismissal of Dimuth Karunaratne on the very first ball of the match which proved to be a massive moment in the game. Against England too, it was their bowling which made their win possible after a monumental effort by Angelo Mathews with the bat.
Their bowling was their forte in the tournament up until the last match, but the way South Africa handled their bowlers would have dented their confidence. The likes of Lasith Malinga and Nuwan Pradeep have been phenomenal with the new ball, and the team will be looking up to this pair to provide them with the early breakthroughs. Nuwan Pradeep will not be available for this fixture as he's already been ruled out of the tournament due to chickenpox.
All in all, Sri Lanka are a side with a massive amount of talent, that can topple even the best on their day. The lack of experience in their middle-order has been apparent in almost all of their fixtures with batsmen regularly failing to handle the pressure. Their bowling, on the other hand, has done pretty well and might well be the deciding factor in the upcoming fixture.
Dimuth Karunaratne, Kusal Perera, Avishka Fernando, Kusal Mendis , Angelo Mathews, HDRL Thirimanne, Dhananjaya de Silva, Isuru Udana, JDF Vandersay, Kasun Rajitha, Lasith Malinga.
West Indies started their campaign in a terrific manner, beating Pakistan rather single-handedly, and were being tipped as a potential surprise package thereafter. Also, their win over New Zealand in the warm-ups highlighted their batting prowess wherein they racked up 421 runs batting first.
Since their first win, however, they've struggled to finish off games despite coming into pretty decent positions. They looked well settled to emerge on top against Australia and were left heart-broken in their last over defeat to New Zealand.
Just like Sri Lanka, their bowling has done reasonably well, albeit not as good in death overs, but their batting has struggled to close out games for them. Chris Gayle, Shai Hope, Carlos Brathwaite have all been amongst the runs, but none of them have managed to score big daddy hundreds which are often required on the kind of batting friendly surfaces and smaller grounds this World Cup is being played in.
West Indies, just like Sri Lanka, are going through a rebuilding phase and most of their players do not have much experience of playing in England. Their bowling has done well so far, but their batting has cracked under pressure way too often in the tournament. They are in the same boat as their opponents, and if they can hold their nerve, there's no reason they can't topple Sri Lanka in the upcoming contest.
Chris Gayle, Shai Hope, SW Ambris, Nicholas Pooran, Shimron Hetmyer, Jason Holder, Carlos Brathwaite, F Allen, Shannon Gabriel, Sheldon Cottrell, Oshane Thomas.
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Both sides are currently in rebuilding phases, and regardless of the qualification to the next round, the upcoming game is vital for both the sides. Sri Lanka and West Indies have both struggled with their batting in the tournament so far. While Sri Lankan batsmen have failed to accelerate, taking too many deliveries to get going, West Indies' batsmen have been guilty of perishing to early in a bid to get quick runs. Considering what has happened in the tournament so far and the lineup of the two sides, West Indies have more experience available in their lineup and are better-placed to come out on top in the upcoming fixture.
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