Kumar Sangakkara and his team will have to play good cricket to stay in this year’s ICC T20 World championship. They lost the lung opener to New Zealand mainly due to poor batting and a few fielding lapses. Zimbabwe who are in group “B” alongside Sri Lanka and New Zealand are no push overs.
Today Sri Lanka play against a highly motivated Zimbabwe outfit ,who did well to beat Australia and Pakistan in their warm up games. Unfortunately Sri Lanka’s ace spinner Muttia Muralitheran has suffered a grade one groin injury that will keep him out for today’s all important game. Suraj Randiv will be the automatic replacement.
The pitch at the Providence Stadium in Guyana has been slow and very sluggish. Many experts have already commented that the matches played at this venue will be low scoring games. Based on the playing conditions, Sri Lanka will consider playing Thisara Perera in place of Chanaka Welegedera.
Perera is a handy all rounder who bowls medium pace. The burly left hander has the power to clear the long boundaries; hence the possibility of Thisara Perera playing in today’s match is a strong possibility. Dilshan is due for a big score. Jayewardene has been a marvel opening the innings for Sri Lanka. If more runs could be accumulated during the power play overs Sri Lanka have the batsmen in the middle order to make it count.
The main problem haunting the Sri Lankan’s is the slow and sluggish nature of the pitch at Guyana. Zimbabwe on the other hand have played a lot of cricket at this venue hence they will back their chances with their spin option.
Ray Price, Prosper Utseya, Graeme Cremer and Greg Lamb have impressed with their spinning ability and have been miserly in the warm up games. Sri Lankan bowlers on the other hand will cause problems to Zimbabwe batsmen who have been struggling in their recently concluded tour of the Caribbean. If Zimbabwe want to progress in this competition their batsmen have to make runs against one of the best bowling attacks in this year’s championship.
The game will be interesting, for Sri Lanka it’s a pressure game. Sangakkara and his team have the experience and the skill level to win, having stated that they will have to be focused on the job from ball one.