West Indies will face Sri Lanka in the second T20I to eye a series win. The first match was eventful, and the hosts outplayed the Lankan side by 4 wickets victory.
Match Timings: Mar 06, 3:30 AM IST
West Indies and Sri Lanka will meet again in Antigua after an entertaining opening match. The current T20 champions needed a good start to their preparation for the next T20 World Cup, and they included some experienced players in the squad to improve the T20 performance. The Bowling unit restricted visitors on 131, and West Indies chased it down with 41 balls spare. Things were pretty dramatic when Dananjaya picked a hattrick in 4th over. After losing Gayle and Pooran on successive deliveries, West Indies were in trouble, but Pollard smashed six sixes in an over of Dananjaya to seal the game. Pollard’s hitting power lifted hosts to take a good start of this long home assignment.
Simmons and Lewis added 52 runs in 3.2 overs, and they are the best opening pair. Gayle got a duck in his comeback innings, but West Indies have no issues with its batting unit. They have the best batting lineup for the shorter format of cricket. Hosts scored 98 runs in the powerplay, which is a record. They have the best combination, and the hard-hitting approach makes them clear favourites.
Meanwhile, Sri Lanka’s start to this tour is not convincing. Akila Dananjaya’s hattrick was the only positive, which was canceled by six sixes from Pollard. The spin attack is their key part, and Mathews used spin in the powerplay. The batting unit collapsed in middle-overs. From 71/2 in the first 10, Sri Lanka scored 131/9 in 20 overs. The acceleration and the running between the wicket was missing. Dickwella and Nissanka looked better, but they couldn’t produce a better strike rate. Hasaranga and Akila showed how Sri Lanka are capable in the spin. Akila’s bowling was accurate despite conceding 36 off the final over. Hasaranga conceded just 12 runs in a 4-overs spell and picked 3 wickets. Sri Lanka could have troubled West Indies if they had scored 150 plus or avoided 98 in the powerplay. Hosts can go ahead with some positives. Any change in the playing XI is unlikely to happen.
Antigua’s surface offers a balance between bat and ball. The track gets slower, and spinners might play a handy role. Chasing would be an ideal call after winning the toss.
Lendl Simmons, Evin Lewis, Chris Gayle, Nicholas Pooran (wk), Kieron Pollard (c), Jason Holder, Fabian Allen, Dwayne Bravo, Kevin Sinclair, Obed McCoy, Fidel Edwards
Danushka Gunathilaka, Niroshan Dickwella (wk), Pathum Nissanka, Dinesh Chandimal, Angelo Mathews (c), Ashen Bandara, Thisara Perera, Wanindu Hasaranga, Akila Dananjaya, Dushmantha Chameera, Nuwan Pradeep
Caribbean T20 League 2021 – M: 11, Runs: 207, SR: 204.95
Caribbean T20 League 2021 – M: 11, Runs: 245, SR: 27.22
SL T20 League 2020 – M: 9, Runs: 246, Avg: 41
SL T20 League 2020 – M: 10, Runs: 261, Avg: 43.50