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|Dhananjaya de Silva||51||47||5||0||108.51|
|Hayden Walsh Jr||3.0||0||20||0||6.67|
|Hayden Walsh Jr||2||3||0||0||66.67|
|Dhananjaya de Silva||5.0||0||13||0||2.60|
Two matches done and two wins for Sri Lanka - this has been the story of West Indies' tour of Sri Lanka so far. While the two teams were perceived to be evenly match before the series started, the same no longer holds true as the hosts lead the three match series 2-0. West Indies will be eager to get a consolation win in the third ODI before the two teams move to the shortest format of the game. The third match of the series is to be played on Sunday, 1st March, at Pallekele International Cricket Stadium, Pallekele. On paper, this match is a dead-rubber and will have no impact on the series, but both the sides will be still desperate to win it. It will be a matter of pride for West Indies whereas Sri Lanka will be looking to reassert their home dominance, which seems to be vanished over the last few years. We expect this match to go down to the wire just as the first match of the series did.
With two scintillating performances in the two matches, Sri Lanka have surprised one and all. After Hasaranga got them home with his composed innings in the first match, it was a collective effort from their batting as well as the bowling in the second match.
Their win in the second match was primarily scripted by the pair of Kusal Mendis and Avishka Fernando as the pair added 239 runs for the third wicket. Their partnership imparted control to the Sri Lankan innings as the duo punished bad deliveries and milked singles on good deliveries. West Indies' bowlers had no answers to their skill and determination. Mendis scored run-a-ball 119 and Fernando contributed with 127 that came in 113 deliveries. Sri Lanka eventually posted a total of 345, which proved too much to handle for the visitors.
Although it was a terrific surface to bat on and even the total of 346 wasn't safe, it was always going to be a challenge to chase it down. Wind blowing across the ground made things a tad difficult for the Sri Lankan bowlers, but they came through and posted to superb performance to complement the performance that their batsmej posted earleir. A cushion of 346 runs on the board certainly provided them comfort. Lakshan Sandakanan and Wanindu Hasaranga were the pick of their bowlers as they picked up six wickets between them, three each, at the expense of 57 amd 30 runs respectively. Considering how well Sri Lanka did in the two matches and the fact that almost all of their players are contributing, it is not going to be easy to beat them.
Avishka Fernando, Dimuth Karunaratne, Kusal Perera, Kusal Mendis, Thisara Perera, Angelo Mathews, Dhananjaya de Silva, Wanidu Hasaranga, Isuru Udana, Lakshan Sandakan, Nuwan Pradeep.
West Indies came in as equals, if not better, into the series and while they performed like that in the first match, the level of their performance was nowhere near that of the Sri Lankans. They were outplayed in all three departments of the game and the absence of Evin Lewis and Shimron Hetmyer was clearly felt. Their bowling failed to even contain Sri Lankans, let alone pick wickets, and it is expected to be a challenging job in Pallekele as well.
While Windies' batting did alright in the first match, but fell like a house of cards in the second match. Chasing a tall total, they lacked the intent that needed to be there and only Shai Hope managed to stay at the crease, but his fifty was more like a drop in an ocean. West Indies were dismal in the field as well as with the ball and presented Sri Lanka with plenty of opportunities to score. It is going to be a difficult for them, but considering their lineup and recent results, they are certainty a capable unit.
Shai Hope, SW Ambris, Darren Bravo, Roston Chase, Nicholas Pooran, Jason Holder, F Allen, Kieron Pollard, Alzarri Joseph, Sheldon Cottrell, Hayden Walsh Jr.
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While the two teams appear to be equal on paper, there is a daylight of difference between the two. The absence of Evin Lewis and Shimron Hetmyer was clearly felt in the last two games for the Windies. Their batting has been under-performing in this series and we do not seem them improving in the upcoming encounter as well. Considering the two teams on paper and the way two teams have done in the series so far, beating Sri Lanka is going to be difficult for the Windies. Betting on a Sri Lankan will be the way to go in the upcoming encounter
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