- Venue: Pallekelle International Cricket Stadium, Pallekelle
- Date: 4th March 2020
- Time: 7:00 PM IST
- League: West Indies tour of Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka Preview
Sri Lanka will need the top-order to perform exceptionally well in the 1st T20i. While the hosts have defeated Windies in the ODI series 3-0, the T20is are a different case. West Indies have a much stronger and deep bating line-up in this format. Avishka Fernando and Kusal Perera have an ideal batting style for this contest. While the two need to get the side off to a blistering start, Kusal Mendis and Dasun Shanaka also have crucial roles in the middle-order.
In addition, Sri Lanka’s got 3 batting all-rounders in the squad including Angelo Matthews. While Matthews was impressive with the ball in the 3rd ODI, the hosts will rely on his batting abilities in the 1st T20i. He has a crucial role as a finisher in the side, and if he fails, the hosts will then turn to Thisara Perera and Isuru Udana lower down the order. Malinga is the key for Sri Lanka in the bowling department. The skipper will expect Wanindu Hasaranga and Lahiru Kumara to contain the flow of runs.
West Indies will be looking to get back to winning ways after their defeat in the ODI series. While they have a T20i side capable of turning things around, they need their bowlers to deliver. Sri Lanka had dominated the Windies bowling attack in the ODI series and will be looking to continue their batting form. Sheldon Cottrell and Oshane Thomas can get through the hosts’ top-order while Russell and Dwayne Bravo are specialists in finding breakthroughs.
Dwayne Bravo is also handy with the bat in the death overs. Andre Russell is the most impactful player in the visitors’ squad. While Pollard will not take the bowling responsibilities, he’s been impressive with the bat in T20s. With two big hitters in the middle-order West Indies have a batting order that can chase down any big total. However, the highest total ever chased at this venue is 178 runs by Pakistan. Lendl Simmons will be impactful at the top while Shimron Hetmyer and Nicholas Pooran in the middle will be crucial in building partnerships.
West Indies to win the match
West Indies have an overall stronger side with big hitters while Sri Lanka doesn’t have a batting order strong enough to chase down a big total. The highest score ever chased at this venue is 178 runs by Pakistan. Teams batting first have won 11 of the 20 matches played at this venue. If the visitors win the toss and elect to bat first, they will be bigger favorites to win the match.
Fantasy Team Tips
- Kusal Perera has an average of 27 in T20is and will be a great choice for wicket-keeper batsman in the fantasy team. Another crucial wicket-keeper batsman is Nicholas Pooran who’s got a big role to play for West Indies.
- Avishka Fernando and Lendl Simmons open the innings for their respective teams and are one of the popular choices among the fantasy teams.
- Shimron Hetmyer and Andre Russell in the Windies middle-order will be responsible for leading the side to a competitive total.
- While Isuru Udana and Angelo Matthews are all-rounders, in the fantasy team, they are sorted in bowling and batting categories respectively.
Fantasy Team Prediction
- Wicket-Keeper – Nicholas Pooran, Kusal Perera
- Batsmen – S Hetmyer, L Simmons, A Fernando, A Matthews, K Mendis
- All-rounder – Andre Russell
- Bowlers – S Cottrell, L Malinga, Isuru Udana
- Captain – Andre Russell
- Vice-Captain – Kusal Perera