About the Match
Sri Lanka was shocked by Zimbabwe in the first match as the visitors pulled off a record chase with ease. Angelo Mathews and his men cannot afford any more mistakes and they would be hoping to hit back strongly in the second game. For Zimbabwe, it is all about maintaining momentum and targeting a famous series win.
It all seemed to be going to plan for Sri Lanka as they ended their first innings score at 316 with useful contributions from Gunathilaka, Mendis, Mathews, and Tharanga. The pitch was not playing any tricks, however, no one had chased down 300 successfully in Sri Lanka before.
What followed though was a shambolic effort from Sri Lanka in the field where they once again dropped crucial catches at vital times and allowed Zimbabwe to stay abreast of the game. Fielding was also the reason why Sri Lanka had been knocked out of the Champions Trophy is the group stages and it is not something that they can correct overnight.
Not too much more can be expected of the batsmen to be honest but maybe they could have gone a little harder a few overs earlier. We are huge fans of Kusal Mendis as he racked up yet another fifty but he needs to start converting some of these scores into big international hundreds.
Sri Lanka is unlikely to make any changes to their batting lineup and hope that their bowlers can stand up to the task much better next time around. Malinga has been ruled out of injury for the second ODI while Sandakan looks set to return in place of Aponso. Both of these changes should help Sri Lanka quite frankly.
What a funny game cricket is! Zimbabwe has gone from losing to Scotland to chasing down a record total in Sri Lanka and would now be dreaming of a series victory. Sikandar Raza said that the success of their team could be laid down to consistency in selection and that is where Heath Streak must be given some credit.
This Zimbabwe team has been persisting with a core group of players that they believe in and giving them the confidence of going out there and performing to their abilities. Solomon Mire was exceptional in the last match but the contributions of Sean Williams, Sikandar Raza or Malcolm Waller, in the end, were not less important either.
In fact, Zimbabwe still had a couple of capable batsmen in the hut in Moor and Burl.
Slow, low pitches like the ones Sri Lanka will offer up are not going to test this Zimbabwe team too much batting wise but the visitors would want to work on their bowling attack a little.
Chatara was the pick of the bowlers but Tripano was expensive and others seemed ineffective. Their skipper, Graeme Cremer, is in good form but his leg spin never really threatened or contained the Sri Lankan batsmen.
We don’t think there will be any changes to this Zimbabwe side for the next match but they would really be hoping to keep the Sri Lankan batsmen to a lot lesser in the future.
Pitch and Conditions
The weather is expected to play a part in this match around the second half of the game and could bring DLS into play. The pitch for this match is expected to be the same as the first match. Slow with mild turn and full of runs.
Sri Lanka is really making it difficult to back them with performances like these but it was not too long back that they beat India comprehensively in the Champions Trophy. We think they will hit back with a win but would hedge our bets in-game.
Back Sri Lanka to win
but keep a look out for high odds on Zimbabwe to cover your risk, especially if Zimbabwe are chasing once again.