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SL push to consolidate position

March 10th, 2015 | by admin
SL push to consolidate position
Scotland
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Bangladesh’s win over England means the quarter-finalists are decided in Pool A, and all that remains is to settle their positions. Should results fall as form would suggest, Sri Lanka will finish third in the group and Bangladesh fourth. But Scotland can throw those predictions off if they manage to beat Sri Lanka or Australia over the next week in Hobart. It would be some sort of story; Scotland debuted in the World Cup in 1999 but are yet to win a game.

So far in this tournament, Sri Lanka have beaten England, Afghanistan and Bangladesh, and lost to Australia and New Zealand. Their plans have been affected by injuries, though, with four changes already made to the squad. Dinesh Chandimal is the latest casualty, ruled out after suffering a hamstring strain during the loss to Australia. Rangana Herath is also nursing a finger injury but remains part of the squad.

Form guide

(last five matches, most recent first)

Scotland LLLLW

Sri Lanka LWWWL

In the spotlight

Kyle Coetzer has enjoyed a strong month against the Full Members, having scored 96 in a World Cup warm-up against West Indies, followed in the tournament proper by 71 against England and 156 against Bangladesh. If anyone is likely to deliver Scotland a challenging total against Sri Lanka, it is Coetzer.

Sri Lanka have pinned plenty of hopes on Lasith Malinga‘s recovery of fitness and form, and against Australia, Malinga appeared to be nearing his best. His deliveries still barely breached 140kph, but the yorkers were tailing into middle stump again, and the bouncers and slower balls were finding their targets as well. Despite bowling in the most hectic phases of the innings, Malinga traveled at less than a run-a-ball. His fielding appears to be gradually improving too, and Sri Lanka may well have him peaking by the quarter-final, as they had always hoped. They just need to find him some adequate support.

Team news

Scotland have a full squad to select from, though they were waiting to see the pitch before deciding whether any changes would be made.

Scotland (possible) 1 Kyle Coetzer, 2 Calum MacLeod, 3 Hamish Gardiner, 4 Matt Machan, 5 Preston Mommsen (capt), 6 Richie Berrington, 7 Matthew Cross (wk), 8 Josh Davey, 9 Majid Haq, 10 Alasdair Evans, 11 Iain Wardlaw

New entrant Kusal Perera may play in Chandimal’s stead. Herath is also unavailable. Sri Lanka will likely jettison one of their specialist spin bowlers for this match, which would allow Suranga Lakmal to return to the XI. There is also a chance Dushmantha Chameera could play, if Sri Lanka opt for four specialist bowlers.

Sri Lanka (probable) 1 Lahiru Thirimanne, 2 Tillakaratne Dilshan, 3 Kumar Sangakkara (wk), 4 Mahela Jayawardene, 5 Angelo Mathews (capt), 6 Kusal Perera 7 Upul Tharanga/Dushmantha Chameera, 8 Thisara Perara, 9 Seekkuge Prasanna, 10 Lasith Malinga, 11 Suranga Lakmal

Pitch and conditions

The Bellerive pitch has been high scoring this summer, with Australia chasing down 304 against England in January and Zimbabwe almost overhauling Ireland’s 331 on Saturday. The forecast for Wednesday is for a partly cloudy day and a top of 22C.

Stats and trivia

  • These teams have met only once before: Sri Lanka enjoyed a 183-run victory in Edinburgh in July 2011
  • Kyle Coetzer is 29 runs away from becoming the third man to score 1000 ODI runs for Scotland
  • Kumar Sangakkara is the only batsman to have scored more than one century in this World Cup. He has made three

Quotes

“We’ve not yet put in a full package display. That’s something very exciting for us, because we know if we do hit our straps 100% we’re very capable of turning over big teams.”
Scotland captain Preston Mommsen knows there is much room for improvement

“Conceding a lot of runs at the death has not only been common with us, it’s been common with most of the sides – even the Australians, who I think have one of the best attacks. It’s the way the format has been structured. If you have wickets in hand it’s amazing the runs a team will score.”
Sri Lanka coach Marvan Atapattu defends Sri Lanka’s conceding of three 300+ scores in the tournament

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