ICC World Twenty20 Group 1: West Indies aim to surge in Sri Lanka clash
Simon Sinclair | March 19, 2016
Sri Lanka v West Indies
- ICC World Twenty20, Match 21
- Sunday, March 20th
- Play starts: 14:00 GMT
- M.Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore
- Live on Sky Sports 2
Windies look to strengthen claim on semi-final berth
The West Indies made a big statement towards their ambitions of winning a second World Twenty20 title by cruising past England in their opening match.
A blistering century from Chris Gayle guided his side to a six-wicket win in Mumbai as the 36-year-old destroyed the England attack and he is 4/1 with Coral to finish as top batsman in a West Indies win here.
Darren Sammy’s men can take a step closer towards the last four of the competition by defeating Sri Lanka in Bangalore with odds of 8/13 to claim the victory.
Gayle to continue destructive form
Gayle put England to the sword with an incredible display of power as he notched a 47-ball century, guiding the Windies to victory with 11 balls to spare.
The 36-year-old showed poise at the crease after facing just six deliveries in the early stages of the innings as Marlon Samuels took centre stage.
However, once his partner was dismissed the opener had no trouble racing through the gears to dismantle the England attack and power his team to the win.
Gayle will be determined to maintain his fine form and his knock against Eoin Morgan’s side will have given him confidence of taking Sri Lanka to task in similar conditions.
His performance in his team’s opener has made the 36-year-old the overwhelming favourite to lead the run column at 2/1, and it would not be wise to bet against him.
Benn to offer spin threat for Windies
Sulieman Benn would have been considered an afterthought to make an impact for Sammy’s men in the tournament due to the presence of Samuel Badree.
Badree failed to fire against England and it was Benn whose left-arm spin caused difficulty for Trevor Bayliss’ team in Mumbai due to his accuracy.
The 34-year-old did not spin the ball a huge amount in the turning conditions, but his height and use of length proved to be a tough combination to get away, leaving him with decent figures of 1-23.
Benn has odds of 4/1 to strike with regularity against the Lions and continue his respectable start to the competition.
Dilshan’s experience key for Sri Lanka
Tillakaratne Dilshan had an impressive start to the tournament with an innings of 83 not out against minnows Afghanistan.
The 38-year-old is a vital player for the Lions due to the absence of Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara following their retirements from the game.
He has proven pedigree in the turning conditions and has the ability to strike the ball anywhere around the ground as the veteran has shown with his infamous ‘Dilscoop’.
Dilshan is capable of providing great impetus at the top of the innings, and due to the inexperience of many of his teammates, he will have to fire against the Windies to give his side a chance of victory.
His odds of 5/2 to top score for Angelo Mathews’s men are enticing due to the lack of quality options around him in the lineup.
Holders look to Herath to quell Windies’ power
Rangana Herath put in a solid performance against Afghanistan to help his team get off the mark in the competition.
The left-arm spinner took figures of 2-24 from his four overs to limit the minnow to a total of 153, which the holders were able to knock off with relative ease.
Sri Lanka will desperately need his control against the potent West Indies batting line-up, including Gayle, who took England’s spinners to task in Mumbai.
Herath has an outstanding economy rate in international T20s in his 17 matches at 6.21 runs an over, while his average is excellent at 17.52.
The holders will need the 38-year-old to be at his most clinical to thwart Gayle and company, with odds of 11/4 to lead the wicket column in Bangalore for his team.