STAR PREVIEW: Sri Lanka v West Indies

The second chances are few and far between at this World Cup now and Sri Lanka have the opportunity to keep their faint semi-final chances alive against the West Indies.

That puts some suspense into the game here, but neither makes any sort of appeal at the match prices. Sri Lanka were abysmal in their defeat to South Africa, failing to make any sort of real challenge and losing with more than 10 overs left on the clock. It was the culmination of yet another defeat when their failure to get any sort of target on the board – or in a chase –was their undoing.

There will be lots to cover in the post debrief, but their failure so far at this World Cup can be summed up by the fact that they’ve not posted more than 250 yet and none of their batsmen have reached 200 for the series either. What a sour summer it will be for England if their victory causes them to go out of the World Cup.

The West Indies have underperformed too in this tournament, failing to kick on from a thumping early defeat of Pakistan with a lack of batting consistency perhaps more to blame than their bowling efforts. Their restriction of India to under 300 was a fair effort given the power that the hosts have but they were eventually demolished by 125 runs as India skittled them for just 143.

Both sets of bowlers have had the better tournament here and Lasith Malinga is probably central to any realistic hopes that the Lankans will have of scoring a victory here. Malinga was far more effective against England two starts back when making the difference but he was the only bowler to take a wicket against South Africa and he had the best economy rate of any bowler who bowled more than 4 overs.

For the Windies, the two that make the most appeal are Kemar Roach, who came right back to his best against India, and Sheldon Cottrell, the fast bowler who has taken 11 wickets for the Windies and become an internet sensation with his famous salutes. He’s taken six wickets in his last two games and this Sri Lankan batting lineup should offer him more chances than the Indians did even on a pitch which has offered batting sides plenty this year.

For batting purposes, none of the Windies batsmen – who have all taken it in turns to match each other with their best batting efforts – makes appeal but Sri Lankan’s Avishka Fernando could be the best bet. An ankle injury has limited him to two appearances in this tournament but they were 49 off 39 balls in the win over England and 30 off 29 against South Africa. He was joint top scorer then.

RECOMMENDED BETS (scale of 1-100 points)
BACK Lasith Malinga Sri Lanka Top Wicket Taker 1 pt at 5/2 with starsports.bet
BACK Avishka Fernando Sri Lanka Top Run Scorer 1 pt at 7/2 with starsports.bet
BACK Sheldon Cottrell Top West Indies Wicket Taker 1 at 7/2 with starsports.bet


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