The ongoing tri-series featuring Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe and West Indies is in an interesting phase with the final round of matches remaining. It will be a mammoth game when Sri Lanka play West Indies in Bulawayo on Wednesday, as the winner will reach the final scheduled for Sunday.
West Indies should not be too worried about the match, as they will get another crack, against Zimbabwe, even if they lose to Sri Lanka. But Jason Holder and his men will not want to take it to the final round robin match, but rather seal their finals berth by defeating Sri Lanka today itself. With both teams eager to win, as expected, the match is going to be a cracker.
The two teams met earlier in the series, which witnessed West Indies emerge victorious by 62 runs. Their batsmen did a decent job, and the bowlers wrapped it up with a good performance. Sri Lanka, on the other hand, were below par, and they will have to play some better cricket to defeat West Indies to reach the final.
This match is more important to Sri Lanka. If they lose and Zimbabwe defeat West Indies in the last encounter, it is the home side, which will reach the final at the cost of Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka might consider themselves unfortunate after their last match against Zimbabwe was stopped due to rain, and the two teams had to share two points each.
Sri Lanka will need their senior players to shoulder responsibility in the batting department. Upul Tharanga, who bats at the middle order and is also the skipper of the side, has to lead his team from the front with the bat. For that to happen, he will require a good start from their top order including Dhananjaya de Silva, Kusal Perera and Niroshan Dickwella.
Besides their batsmen, their bowlers have to be tight against some quality West Indies batsmen like Johnson Charles, Kraigg Brathwaite and Evin Lewis. West Indies looks a solid side with two all-rounders Holder and Carlos Brathwaite, with the latter having shown his big-hitting ability in the past. He can destroy bowlers, and take the game away from the opposition, which Sri Lanka needs to be careful.
With the last match between Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe not producing any result due to rain, the focus is also on the weather, though the forecast is for a sunny day. One does not want weather playing spoilsport in such a huge contest.
Where to watch live
Sri Lanka vs West Indies tri-series ODI match is schedule for 09.30 am local time (7.30 GMT, 1pm IST). TV and live streaming can be found below.
India: Ten 3. Live streaming: Ten Sports Live
Sri Lanka: Ten Network
US: TV: Willow TV. Live Streaming: Willow TV Online.