Defending champions West Indies will be desperate to address their batting woes and keep their slim semi-final hopes alive when they take on Sri Lanka in the T20 World Cup in Abu Dhabi on Thursday.
After two back-to-back losses, West Indies managed to revive their campaign with a scrappy three-run win over Bangladesh. The two-time champions’ chances of reaching the semi-finals look very slim but they aren’t out of the race just yet. They not only need to win their last two fixtures to stay in the mix for the semis but also require dominant victories to improve their net run rate, which is the worst in the group.
The wins will not only improve West Indies chances but will also hurt fellow contenders Australia’s chances of progressing and if South Africa lose against England, who are already through, then all three sides could finish on six points which will bring the net run rate into the equation.
Probable Playing XI
Sri Lanka Pathum Nissanka, Kusal Perera (wk), Charith Asalanka, Avishka Fernando, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Wanindu Hasaranga, Dasun Shanaka (c), Chamika Karunaratne, Dusmantha Chameera, Maheesh Theekshana, Lahiru Kumara
Ahead of the do-or-die virtual clash, let's know which players can make a difference in the team of Dream XI:
Dream11 line-up Nicholas Pooran, Evin Lewis, Charith Asalanka (C), Pathum Nissanka, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Wanindu Hasaranga, Jason Holder (VC), Kieron Pollard, Dushmantha Chameera, Chamika Karunaratne, Akeal Hosein
Wicket-keeper (Nicholas Pooran)
Nicholas Pooran returned to form in the last game with a crucial 40-run knock that turned decisive in West Indies' win over Bangladesh.
Batter (Evin Lewis, Charith Asalanka, Pathum Nissanka, Bhanuka Rajapaksa)
Evin Lewis didn't score in his last game but did hit a half-century for a losing cause against South Africa. The same is true for Pathum Nissanka, who scored a 72 two matches ago. Charith Asalanka has got a good start in all the Super 12 matches but failed to score big. Bhanuka Rajapaksa has been having a hit-or-miss World Cup too with a half-century to his name.
All-rounder (Wanindu Hasaranga, Jason Holder, Kieron Pollard)
Wanindu Hasaranga has been the most consistent performer with the ball for Sri Lanka and has scored well with the bat as well. Jason Holder made a return to Windies line-up in the last game and proved his might with tight bowling at the death. Kieron Pollard has failed to score big so far as he bats lower down the order but Abu Dhabi pitch is conducive for him to bat the way he likes to.
Bowler (Dushmantha Chameera, Chamika Karunaratne, Akeal Hosein)
Dushmantha Chameera's economy rate has been a concern but the pacer is picking wickets every match. Chamika Karunaratne, on the other hand, has been economical with the ball but is struggling to pick wickets. Sole WI bowler in the line-up is Akeal Hosein, who has picked five wickets in the last three games.
It will remain sunny throughout the day with temperatures hovering between 27-36 degree celsius. Strong winds are expected -- particularly during the afternoon with speeds likely to go past 23 km/s.
You can watch the T20 World Cup 2021 Super 12 Group 2 game West Indies vs Sri Lanka Live Online on Hotstar and TV Telecast on Star Sports Network.
(With inputs from PTI)