After a close win over West Indies in the last match of the tri-series, Sri Lanka have booked their finals slot, which has made matters interesting as we head into the last round robin fixture. When West Indies take on Zimbabwe on Friday, it is virtually a semifinal, as the winner will meet Sri Lanka in the final.
West Indies have been involved in some close matches in the tri-series. It was not only their last match against Sri Lanka, which went right down to the wire, with the Caribbean nation winning the first head-to-head encounter. Their match against Zimbabwe earlier finished in a tie. West Indies need to make sure that they cross the finishing line first.
Some of the West Indies players, such as Evin Lewis, skipper Jason Holder and Shai Hope, have contributed in the series, but this match is not going to be won by a single player. They need all their players to stand up and be counted against Zimbabwe, and more importantly Carlos Brathwaite, who has not been able to shine with the bat. This match could be a perfect time for the tall all-rounder to strike back to form with the bat.
West Indies will be keen to shine against Zimbabwe, who are playing on their home turf. The African nation will be strongly supported, which should push them to play quality cricket and reach the final. They should consider themselves lucky to be in the race for the finals without having won a single match.
They have amassed four points, two each for no result and a tied game. They will take inspiration from their last game against West Indies, where they managed a tie. But they cannot afford another middle order collapse like they did the last time around, going from 190 for three wickets to 257 all out.
Zimbabwe have experienced players such as Chamu Chibhabha, Craig Irvine, Sean Williams in the batting line-up, but it is their bowlers, who might be tested by strong West Indies batsmen. Captain Graeme Cremer has to make wise use of his bowlers on Friday.
With the finals berth on the line for both teams, another entertaining match is on the cards for cricket fans.
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.