West Indies bring their tour of Sri Lanka to a close with a two-match Twenty20 series, having already been beaten 3-0 in the ODI Series. Can they end this tour with some success?
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Sri Lanka vs West Indies 1st T20 Predictions & Betting Tips
Tuesday, March 3 – 13:30 GMT – Pallekele International Stadium, Sri Lanka
West Indies’ tour of Sri Lanka will not be seen a success on the field if they do not win this upcoming two-match Twenty20 series.
Their only win on the tour so far was a 50 over game against Sri Lanka Board President’s XI, in which they won by six wickets with 21 balls remaining.
Roston Chase was the hero for West Indies with the bat as he hit 136 from 113 balls with 16 fours and one six as the tourists chased down a total of 277.
You would have thought that win would have given them the confidence to go and claim a ODI series win over Sri Lanka, but it didn’t as they suffered a 3-0 loss.
Sri Lanka claimed a narrow victory in the first ODI as they chased down West Indies’ total of 289 with Avishka Fernando and Dimuth Karunaratne both opening the batting with half centuries.
Their second ODI win was a lot simpler as the hosts won by a staggering 161 runs. Sri Lanka made 345-8 from their 50 overs, with Fernando again shining with the bat as he hit 127 from 123 balls and Kusal Mendis also weighed in with a century of his own.
They were just as phenomenal with the ball as they skittled the West Indies out for just 184 with Dhananjaya de Silva and Lakshan Sandakan both getting three wickets apiece.
The third and final ODI clash was a tense affair with the hosts claiming a six-run win. Sri Lanka looked like they were in full control having posted 307 withKusal Mendis and Dhananjaya de Silva both hitting half centuries, but the WIndies refused to lie down and they fell just six runs ahort as they reached 301/9 off their 50 overs. Shal Hope top scored for the tourists with 72 from 88 balls, while Sunil Ambris and Nicholas Pooran both contributed with 60 and 50 respectively, but in the end it wasn’t enough.
This series win will fill Sri Lanka with a lot of confidence going into the Twenty20 series. Fernando is in fine form with the bat and we expect him to take the form he showed in the ODI series into the 20 over game and we are backing him to be Sri Lanka’s highest scoring batsman.
Sri Lanka are always tough to beat on their home soil and seeing as they have already dominated the ODI series, we cannot see the Twenty20 series being much different.
The hosts have opted to bring back Thisara Perera after he was not selected for the recent T20 series in India, while Nuwan Pradeep and Shehan Jayasuriya have also earned themselves a recall. Danushka Gunathilaka is still unavailable through injury, while there are no places for Bhanuka Rajapaska and Oshada Fernando.
West Indies are determined to get some measure of success on this tour of Sri Lanka. Shimron Hetmyer has declared himself fit after passing a fitness assessment, while Andre Russell and Oshane Thomas are back in the mix.
Russell has not featured for the West Indies since he injured himself during their World Cup campaign in England, while Thomas has been passed fit after recovering from a recent car crash back in Jamaica.
The new arrivals for the tourists will be welcome additions, but I can’t see them troubling this strong Sri Lankan batting line-up. I’m backing Sri Lanka to take a 1-0 lead in this two-match series.
Sri Lanka: Lasith Malinga (capt.), Avishka Fernando, Kusal Perera, Shehan Jayasuriya, Niroshan Dickwella, Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Dhananjaya De Silva, Thisara Perera, Dasun Shanaka, Wanindu Hasaranga, Lakshan Sandakan, Isuru Udana, Nuwan Pradeep, Lahiru Kumara.
West Indies: Kieron Pollard (capt), Fabian Allen, Dwayne Bravo, Sheldon Cottrell, Shimron Hetmyer, Shai Hope, Brandon King, Nicholas Pooran, Rovman Powell, Andre Russell, Lendl Simmons, Oshane Thomas, Hayden Walsh Jr, Kesrick Williams.