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Preview- Second T20 international SL-WI

By Indika Amarasinghe

After winning the Test series 2-0 and the One-Day International series 3-0, Sri Lanka have one more game to end their series with West Indies, when they play them in the second and final Twenty20 International at the R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on November 11 (Wednesday). Winning this match means Sri Lanka will complete a white wash, winning Test, One day’s and T20.

This game was initially scheduled to be played on November 12, but was rescheduled after the Sri Lankan president, declared Thursday as “a day of mourning” following the death of activist Buddhist monk Ven. Maduluwawe Sobitha Thero, who passed away on Sunday.

Sri Lanka came into this T20 International series with victories under their belt after having a whitewash in the recently concluded ODI series. Their batters, bowlers and fielders produced a tremendous performance under their vastly experienced new interim coach, former CCC and Thomian cricketer Jerome Jayarathna. Going by the present performance of the Sri Lankan team, in all three formats off the game, Jayarathna is the one who has made this difference. This was justified by the comments made by Dimuth Karunarathna , Angelo Mathews and Lasith Malinga about Jayarathna’s approach with the players and his sheer dedication and commitment towards the team, hence to retain him at least till the upcoming T20 World Cup in India.

West Indies received an unexpected setback when their frontline bowler off spinner Sunil Narine was warned for a bowling with a suspect action for the first time in his international career in the third and final ODI. He needs to undergo testing within the next 14 days and until then he would be allowed to continue bowling in the international cricket arena. That would be a great relief for the dejected Windies, as he is their most effective bowler in the one day and T20 formats of the game.

The plus point for Windies is that hosts Sri Lanka lost their last T20I series 2-0 at home to Pakistan. Although Sri Lanka is the hot favorites to pull off this match when they head into the final game of the tour, West Indies can produce a surprise by getting a shock win against the host team.

In an exclusive interview with The Nation Cricket Selection Committee Chairman Kapila Wijegunawardene, said, “We create a proper environment and mindset for the present day players to represent the country and perform freely. I am really confident that they will go on to serve SriLankan cricket with a positive frame of mind and with distinction in future. We are really lucky because we are blessed with enormous talent all over the country and we need to just identify and fine tune them before drafting them into the national side.

“Speaking about today’s match, West indies is a dangerous side as we all have seen them performed, but we were fortunate we out played them in all three department; so if we continue to perform the way we did then there’s no reason that I see, why we can’t go out there and win this T20 international as well,” said a soft-spoken Wijegunawardene.

As Wijegunawardene mentioned, Sri Lanka may go out to play the same team, due to a hamstring injury sustained by former D.S. Senanayaka College and present S.S.C, 20-year-old 6 ft 6 inches lanky left arm pacie Binura Fernando, hence he has been ruled out of this game. Uncapped rookie all-rounder Dasun Shanaka who represented St. Peters College Negombo, Maristella College and presently playing club cricket for SSC, has been drafted into this squad for the injured Binura Fernando.

For West Indies burly medium fast bowler Ravi Rampaul may come into the side, in place of the experience Jerome Taylor. If not the visitors are likely go in with an unchanged side which did duty for them in the last T20 in Pallekelle.

Probable Squad Sri Lanka: Lasith Malinga (capt), Tillakaratne Dilshan, Kusal Perera, Shehan Jayasuriya, Angelo Mathews, Milinda Siriwardene, Chamara Kapugedara, Dinesh Chandimal (wk), Kithuruwan Vithanage, Dushmantha Chameera, Nuwan Kulasekera, Sachithra Senanayake, Jeffrey Vandersay, Dasun Shanaka, Thisara Perera.

Probable Squad West Indies: Darren Sammy (capt), Darren Bravo, Dwayne Bravo, Jonathan Carter, Johnson Charles, Andre Fletcher, Jason Holder, Sunil Narine, Kieron Pollard, Denesh Ramdin (wk), Ravi Rampaul, Andre Russell, Marlon Samuels, Jerome Taylor, Devendra Bishoo.

Picture courtesy- (cdn.adaderana.lk)