Player of the Match
Player of the Match

Knocked out SL and WI focus on life after World Cup

Lasith Malinga celebrates the wicket of Jos Buttler Getty Images

Big Picture

How have Sri Lanka performed in this World Cup? It's not a straightforward question to answer. They had won just 12 out 53 completed ODIs between the start of 2017 and the start of this World Cup, and were led in the tournament by someone who had last played an ODI in the last World Cup.

The same team managed to topple the pre-tournament favourites, and despite just two wins and two points from two washouts, had a chance to make it to the semi-finals before England defeated India on Sunday. But even the ardent fans of Sri Lanka cricket will agree that missing out on a top-four spot is the true representation of the side's recent form and performance in the tournament. Having said that, Sri Lanka have the players to take their cricket forward and the match against West Indies on Monday will provide another opportunity to do so.

On the other hand, West Indies' campaign has gone pear-shaped after their emphatic win over Pakistan in their opening match. Both their batting and bowling have been too one-dimensional. Their pacers were too rigid with their short-ball strategy, and their batsmen uninterested in converting singles into doubles.

Had the West Indies batsmen applied themselves a bit more against Australia, and Carlos Brathwaite managed to clear Trent Boult against New Zealand, things would have looked quite different. But the hard fact is, they have now lost five matches on the trot and are out of the tournament. And if their coach Floyd Reifer is to be believed, West Indies have already started looking beyond this World Cup.

Form guide

Sri Lanka LWLWL (last five completed matches, most recent first)

West Indies LLLLL

In the spotlight

Shai Hope came into the World Cup as one of the key West Indies batsmen, having scored 2060 runs at an average of 51.50 since the start of 2017. However, his numbers at this World Cup pale in comparison: 192 runs at an average of 32. While he has never been an enforcer with the bat, his strike rate too dropped from 76.63 to 67.13. With two games still in hand, the wicketkeeper-batsman would like to finish the tournament on a high.

Lasith Malinga's yorkers may no longer send shivers down the batsmen's spines but they still have enough in them to get them out, as he showed against Afghanistan and England. He is, by far, Sri Lanka's most successful bowler this World Cup with nine wickets from five games and his team will expect an encore from their old warhorse.

Team news

With Nuwan Pradeep out of the tournament with chicken pox, Sri Lanka are likely to bring in Kasun Rajitha for Suranga Lakmal, who had filled in for Pradeep against South Africa. Milinda Siriwardana replacing Jeevan Mendis also may not be such a bad idea.

Sri Lanka (probable): 1 Dimuth Karunaratne (capt), 2 Kusal Perera (wk), 3 Avishka Fernando, 4 Kusal Mendis, 5 Angelo Mathews, 6 Jeevan Mendis/Milinda Siriwardana, 7 Dhananjaya de Silva, 8 Thisara Perera, 9 Isuru Udana, 10 Lasith Malinga, 11 Kasun Rajitha

If Evin Lewis is fit, he will replace Sunil Ambris at the top of the batting order. Other than that, West Indies are expected to go unchanged.

West Indies (probable): 1 Chris Gayle, 2 Evin Lewis/Sunil Ambris, 3 Shai Hope (wk), 4 Nicholas Pooran, 5 Shimron Hetmyer, 6 Carlos Brathwaite, 7 Jason Holder (capt), 8 Ashley Nurse, 9 Kemar Roach, 10 Sheldon Cottrell, 11 Oshane Thomas

Pitch and conditions

It's a new pitch from the one the Sri Lanka-South Africa game was played on and it bore a beige and bare look on the eve of the game. Teams batting second have won four out the last five ODIs at Chester-le-Street. The weather is forecast to be a bit windy with clouds overhead.

Strategy punt

  • Sri Lanka have scored at 6.6 runs per over in the Powerplay this World Cup; no other team has come anywhere close to 6 with Bangladesh being a distant second with 5.5. But it nosedives in overs 11 to 40. Sri Lanka have the lowest run rate (4.2), the lowest average (17.4) and the worst balls-per-boundary ratio (22.1) in this phase. Sending Thisara Perera up the batting order, when the wickets are in hand, can be the one way to tackle this middle-overs muddle.

  • Oshane Thomas, with his big frame and scary pace, startled the Pakistan batsmen by pitching it short en route to a four-wicket haul. As the tournament progressed, Thomas became too predictable - and therefore less effective - with the short stuff. He might want to mix up his lengths on Monday.

Stats and trivia

  • Sri Lanka have won four out their last five ODIs against West Indies.

  • All the dismissals of Gayle and Hope have been against pace this World Cup.

  • West Indies have conceded 8.9 runs per over in overs 41 to 50, the joint-worst with Bangladesh this World Cup.


"The batting is the main reason for our failures. We couldn't get a hundred, despite having played five games now. We've only scored a few fifties. That's a major thing. If you want to compete with the big teams, you've got to have a good batting line-up that puts runs on the board."

Sri Lanka captain Dimuth Karunaratne

"Yes, we are out of the World Cup, but there is still a lot of cricket to play after the World Cup. It's important for us to find the winning ways and find the winning formula going forward, so it is important for us to play this game as hard as possible."

West Indies coach Floyd Reifer

West Indies 2nd innings Partnerships

1st12CH GayleSW Ambris
2nd10CH GayleSD Hope
3rd49CH GayleSO Hetmyer
4th13N PooranSO Hetmyer
5th61JO HolderN Pooran
6th54CR BrathwaiteN Pooran
7th83N PooranFA Allen
8th26SS CottrellN Pooran
9th3SS CottrellO Thomas
10th4ST GabrielSS Cottrell