World Cup 2011: Sri Lanka Vs Zimbabwe – A Preview




World Cup 2011

World Cup 2011

With a couple of wins, a loss and a washout, Sri Lanka are yet to find their right footing in the tournament so far. The couple of wins have come against the associate nations Canada and Kenya while they suffered a 11 run loss to their Asian rivals Pakistan. They shared points against Australia at Colombo and with 5 points from 4 games, Sri Lanka need a win more to qualify for the knockouts. Zimbabwe, despite scoring 312 against Canada, has struggled with their batting against the bigger nations and with the likes of Malinga, Muralitharan and Mendis in the opposition lineup, they require a special batting performance to come close to upsetting the Lankans in their own backyard.

Dilshan and Tharanga have been responsible for getting the Lankans off to quick starts but both of them will look to get a big score under their belt before the knockouts. Sangakkara looked his usual classy self against the Aussies before the rain interruption whereas Jayawardene will be looking for another big one after scoring a century against the Canadians. The Zimbabweans will look at Samaraweera and Chamara Silva as the weak links of the Lankan batting order while Mathews at No.7 fulfills the role of an allrounder. Lasith Malinga was literally unplayable in the match against Kenya and he will be looking for a repeat of that five star performance. Sangakkara decided to go in with three spinners against the Australians and it will be interesting to see if he decides to stick to this strategy at Pallekelle, a surface which offered nip and pace to the seamers in the Pakistan vs. New Zealand game. If he decides to go with three spinners it would require Kulasekara to sit out and either Mathews or Perera to share the new ball with Malinga. Jayawardene also hinted that that the Lankan management were looking at the option of playing Fernando at Pallekelle.

Zimbabwe’s batting against the big nations have been their major cause of worry. Brendan Taylor and Charles Coventry haven’t given the kind of starts the middle order would have liked while Taibu and Ervine have the backing of a big score against Canada. Chigumbara would want to improve his aggregate of 20 runs in 3 matches in the tournament and he will be the crucial factor as to how Zimbabwe would do in the middle and slog overs. Panyangara’s first match in six years was something that he would not like to be reminded of while Zimbabwe’s strategy of opening the bowling with Raymond Price has paid off. Prosper Utseya and Graeme Cremer have managed to keep the run rate in check so far but what they would like to add is some numbers to the wickets column.

Zimbabwe managed to beat Sri Lanka in an ODI at Harare last June but expecting them to repeat that performance against an ever improving Sri Lankan squad would be quite a herculean task.

Probable teams:

Sri Lanka: Upul Tharanga, Tillekaratne Dilshan, Kumara Sangakkara (Captain & Wicketkeeper), Mahela Jayawardene, Thilan Samaraweera, Thisara Perera, Angelo Mathews, Rangana Herath, Ajantha Mendis, Muttiah Muralitharan, Lasith Malinga.

Zimbabwe: Brendan Taylor, Charles Coventry, Tatenda Taibu (Wicketkeeper), Craig Ervine, Elton Chigumbara (Captain), Regis Chakabva, Greg Lamb, Prosper Utseya, Graeme Cremer, Raymond Price, Tinashe Panyangara.

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Monish Menon

Author:

Hi, I am Monish Menon from Hyderabad and currently working at Franklin Templeton Investments as a Compliance Business Analyst. Sport has always been my passion since I was a kid and I invest all my non-existent free time by watching, playing, writing and analyzing various sporting events across the world. Apart from being a diehard Manchester United fan and a Ferrari supporter, I believe that Roger Federer is still the best tennis player and Sachin Tendulkar is God. I play club cricket and I also am a part of my organization’s cricket and football squad. Being such a sports fanatic, writing about it is something that came naturally to me and I am glad that I got an opportunity through thesportsmirror.com to share my thoughts with the rest of the world. For other articles written by me, you can visit my blog at www.monishmenon.wordpress.com

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