West Indies will play their first ODI of the tour of Sri Lanka at Hambantota on Thursday, December 9. This is after the Test series was drawn 0-0 after a Chris Gayle-effort drew the first match while rains ensured that the rest of the games had no chances of any result except a stalemate.
Watch the Sri Lanka v West Indies, 1st ODI live on Ten Cricket on Thursday. Also watch the Sri Lanka v West Indies, 1st ODI highlights on the same channel after the game.
Both captains will want some action in the ODI series and hope that the rain stays away. However, given that a draw is no longer an option for the touring West Indian side, they will need to come out and play positive cricket. Sri Lanka, on the other hand, will be under pressure to start winning something in the series. This is also the last series that they play at home before the start of the World Cup.
Sri Lanka v West Indies, 1stODI Timings at Hambantota:
The game will be a day-night game and will begin from 2.30 pm local time or 0900 hours GMT.
Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium in Hambantota is going to be the venue used for each of the first two ODIs of the series and it is the first time a game will be played here. This is the same ground where a few of the World Cup matches will be played and there will be a lot of crowd and media interest in how the game pans out. Interestingly, in an unofficial Test match played here in September, the game got over in two days with Sri Lanka A scoring 97 in their first innings and still winning the game.
The West Indian team has a fresher look to it than in the past and is similar to that played in the Tests. Darren Sammy continues to lead the team while the presence of Shivnarine Chanderpaul will boost the experience in the middle-order. However, Chanderpaul needs to start scoring some runs.
Chris Gayle will obviously hold the fortunes at the top of the order while the Trinidad and Tobago (and Mumbai Indians) duo of Dwayne Bravo and Kieron Pollard will have the responsibility of looking after the middle-order. Nikita Miller could be the key in the bowling department apart from Kemar Roach.
Sri Lanka will look to their middle-order to get some runs. Not only have they relied too heavily on the likes of Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene and T. Dilshan, but the middle-order has collapsed on too many occasions to their liking. Chamara Kapugedera and Silva have been in the side for far too long without doing much while Angelo Matthews will look to cement his place in the side as a batsman-only if his injury continues to prevent him from bowling.
Of course, they will be on a high from their 2-1 win in Australia and Lasith Malinga and the spinners – Herath, Randiv and Mendis – could hold the key.