Sri Lanka will face West Indies in the second ODI of the three-match series at the Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on Wednesday.
In the first ODI of the series, Sri Lanka edged past the Caribbeans by one wicket in a rain-curtailed game. Ajantha Mendis was the star of the show as he won the match for his side with a six and quite obviously he was baffled post that shot.
The first ODI was reduced to 26-overs-a-side. West Indies came out to bat first and put up a total of 159 for the loss of eight wickets in their alotted overs. And as per the Duckworth-Lewis method, the revised target for the host was 163 in 26 overs.
Tillakeratne Dilshan smashed 59 runs from just 32 balls, which included six boundaries and three sixes. And that gave the host a perfect start to their run chase. At a stage, the host were cruising with 104 runs for the loss of two wickets. But, then came the slump. Sri Lanka lost seven wickets in a span of 48 runs.
Ajantha Mendis was at the crease with Suranga Lakmal at the other end of the wicket. Sri Lanka needed eight runs of eight balls and Johsnon Charles was bowling to Mendis. Unfortunately, Charles bowled a no-ball and Mendis ran two. Then, Sri Lanka needed five off eight balls and on top of that a free hit was on its way to Mendis. The no. 10 batsman of Sri Lanka smashed the free-hit delivery for a huge six over the long on boundary and finished off the game in style. Although it took him quite sometime to realise that he has actually hit a six and won the first ODI for Sri Lanka, but eventually he did once the teammates ran in to celebrate the victory.
West Indies will have to look into a number of things ahead of the second ODI. The opening bastmen will have to step up to the occasion if they would want to outclass the Lankans at their own backyard. Secondly, the middle-order have left Jason Holder in a spot of bother. Apart from Darren Bravo and Andre Russell, none of the other batsmen fired when needed. Now as Holder has been handed a one-match ban for maintaining slow over-rate, it will be tough for the Caribbeans to fill into his shoes. However, they will try and find the perfect combination before they walk out in the field for the second ODI.
Sri Lankan bowlers were right on the money during the first ODI. Lasith Malinga, who was struggling to find some form on the limited over formats ahead of this series, seemed to be getting back with his rhythm and bowled well in the first game against West Indies. Meanwhile, West Indies should understand that Sunil Narine will not be able to win them all their games. The other bowlers need to rev up their performances as well.
Sri Lanka vs West Indies 2nd ODI Schedule:
Date: 4 November.
Venue: R Premadasa Stadium, Colombo.
Time: 2:30pm IST (2:30 pm local time, 5am West Indian time, 9 am GMT).
TV Listings: India: Ten Cricket. Sri Lanka: Ten Cricket. UK: Sky Sports. USA: Willow TV.