Windies Seek ODI Final Berth

November 23, 2016

he West Indies enter today’s match against Sri Lanka at Bulawayo knowing that a win will guarantee them a place in the One-Day International Tri-Series final. And having already bested their opponents earlier in the tournament in Harare, skipper Jason Holder’s men will be fairly confident of getting the victory.

The Caribbean side is also coming off a tied game against hosts Zimbabwe in Bulawayo, when Shai Hope scored a century and Kraigg Brathwaite made 78 before the team panicked towards the end of their chase to come away with a tie.

Heading into today’s game, Hope is the leading run-scorer in the series with 148 runs and is only century-maker so far, while Shannon Gabriel, Carlos Brathwaite and Sri Lanka’s Nuwan Kulasekara top the wickets table with five each.

Batting coach Toby Radford admitted that there might have been some nerves towards then end of the tied game; however, he noted, the Windies will have to be at the top of their game against the higher-ranked Sri Lankans.

“We needed 60 runs with eight wickets in hand [at one stage] and nine times out of ten, you’d expect the batting side to do that,” Radford said. “I think a little bit of panic set in, which is easy when you’re away from home and there’s a noisy crowd. To be fair, they (Zimbabwe) actually bowled well and took the pace off on what was a slow-ish wicket.”

Sri Lanka, who are sixth on the ICC ODI rankings, still have to make up ground after their loss to the Windies and a wash out against the hosts on Monday. However, the Windies will have more at stake.

West Indies will also be looking to pick up points towards direct qualification for the ICC World Cup. The Windies have already missed qualification for next year’s Champions Trophy and will not want to miss another ICC event.

The Caribbean team are still ninth in the ICC ODI rankings behind Pakistan, and a strong show in their remaining games will put them within touching distance of Bangladesh at number seven. The cut-off date for direct qualification for the 2019 World Cup is September 2017.

SQUADS

WEST INDIES (from): Jason Holder (captain), Sulieman Benn, Carlos Brathwaite, Kraigg Brathwaite, Jonathan Carter, Johnson Charles, Miguel Cummins, Shane Dowrich, Shannon Gabriel, Shai Hope, Evin Lewis, Jason Mohammed, Ashley Nurse, Rovman Powell

SRI LANKA: WU Tharanga (captain), DM de Silva, N Dickwella†, ANPR Fernando, DAS Gunaratne, DSNFG Jayasuriya, KMDN Kulasekara, CBRLS Kumara, RAS Lakmal, BKG Mendis, SS Pathirana, MDKJ Perera, PADLR Sandakan, MD Shanaka, JDF Vandersay

(Trinidad Express)



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