HomeSportZim target crucial Super League points

Zim target crucial Super League points

If Sean Williams’ century went in vain in the opening ODI, Sri Lanka skipper Dasun Shanaka’s maiden ODI ton came in a lost cause in the second game, setting up an exciting series decider in Pallekele today.

With 10 World Cup Super League points up for grabs, Sri Lanka have an opportunity to surpass Australia and move up to fourth while Zimbabwe, currently tenth, can climb up two spots and move past South Africa and Pakistan.

Since their victory against West Indies in February 2020, Sri Lanka have only won one bilateral ODI series in five attempts and they’ll be eager to take another step to amend that with a win here. Zimbabwe, after their historic series victory against Sri Lanka in 2017, have beaten only UAE while suffering defeats in nine other series and drawing one against Ireland.

They’ll be hoping to upstage Sri Lanka again as a stepping stone for their turnaround in 50-over cricket.

Chasing both times, Sri Lanka were aided by a collective batting effort in the first match but a top-order collapse in the second ODI, which reduced them to 63 for 4, did not allow much room for recovery.

The Sri Lankan seamers were also not up to the mark, unlike Zimbabwe’s pacemen who struck crucial blows.

Zimbabwe’s batting in the second game resembled close to their efforts in the first, which was adequate, but they might yet hope for that bit extra in the death overs, having managed 69 and 70 respectively in the last 10 overs of the two matches.

What to expect
“The ball was coming on nicely in the first half of the game and then it was skiddy,” said Shanaka about the pitch following Sri Lanka’s loss. A similar wicket is likely to be on offer, with spin likely to be Sri Lanka’s weapon of choice again while Zimbabwe will bank on their quicks to do the job.

Team news:
Sri Lanka: Dushmantha Chameera replaced an injured Chamika Gunasekara in the second ODI but did not really set the stage alight, bowling nine wicketless overs for 47 runs. Sri Lanka have two uncapped options in Nuwan Thushara and Shiran Fernando who they could bring into the mix.

Possible XI:
Pathum Nissanka, Kusal Mendis (wk), Kamindu Mendis, Dinesh Chandimal, Charith Asalanka, Dasun Shanaka (c), Chamika Karunaratne, Jeffrey Vandersay, Maheesh Theekshana, , Nuwan Thushara/Shiran Fernando, Nuwan Pradeep

Zimbabwe: With a combination that has worked for them in the last game, the visitors may not see to many reasons to tinker with their lineup.

Possible XI:
Takudzwanashe Kaitano, Regis Chakabva (wk), Craig Ervine (c), Sean Williams, Wesley Madhevere, Sikandar Raza, Ryan Burl, Wellington Masakadza, Blessing Muzarabani, Tendai Chatara, Richard Ngarava

What they said
“We should come with better plans in the next game. Not much pressure. We didn’t bowl well at the start. Unfortunately our top order didn’t click. Hopefully both facets will do well next game,” Dasun Shanaka, after the second ODI.— Cricbuzz

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