Thursday, June 18, 2009

Sri Lanka vs West Indies Preview, Live Score: T20 World Cup 2009 Semi Final

For live score of the match, visit this entry:

Sri Lanka will take on West Indies tomorrow (19 June) in the second semi final of the ongoing twenty20 world cup 2009. Both Sri Lanka and West Indies have been in impressive form recently and it would be interesting to see who are going to make it to the final through the match. While spinners are crucial for Sri Lanka, pacers are going to be so for the Caribbean side. There is one similarity between the two sides and that is their opening batsmen. While West Indies Captain Chris Gayle has been a constant threat for the opposition bowlers, Sri Lankan opener Tillakaratne Dilshan has been pretty much consistent and is currently the leading scorer in the tournament. The match is scheduled to take place at the Kennington Oval, London in England. It is needless to say that cricket fans are expecting an entertaining game on Friday at the Oval.

Match: Sri Lanka vs West Indies; 2nd Semi Final, Twenty20 World Cup 2009

Date: 19 June 2009

Venue: Kennington Oval, London, England

Kick off: 16:30 GMT (17:30 Local Time)

Both Sri Lanka and West Indies were not among the hot favorites before the tournament got underway. However, both sides have so far been impressive in the tournament. What is more important is that, Sri Lanka and West Indies got the young players like Lendl Simmons or Isuru Udana who are expected to be future of their cricket.

Spin attack is the strongest side of Sri Lanka in the presence of veteran off spinner Muttiah Muralitharan and mystery man Ajantha Mendis who has so far kept the opposition batsmen unfolding the mystery of his varied range of deliveries. Mendis has picked up 10 wickets from 5 games at an economy rate of 5.55. Muralitharan may not have bagged many wickets, but his economy rate of 5.45 is enough to pose a threat for the opponents in twenty20 format.

Moreover, the Lankan have a quality left arm spinner in Sanath Jayasuria and a part time spinner in Dilshan. Sri Lanka’s pace attack features Isuru Udana, who has been the biggest prospect of the Lankan side so far in the tournament, as well as Lasith Malinga. All rounder Angelo Mathews is also a quality pacer. I think, Sri Lanka should also play pacer all rounder Farveez Maharoof against West Indies consider Oval’s bouncy, quick wicket. In that case, middle order batsman Jehan Mubarak might have to make way for Maharoof.

Even though Oval wicket could be bouncy and quick, Captain Sangakkara said the wicket would not be a problem for his team.

AFP reported:

"We've played one-day cricket here before, it seems a pretty even track with good bounce and I think it will stay consistent right throughout," said Sangakkara.

"Especially when it comes to our spinners, I think if they can get a bit more bounce out of the track, they will be more effective," the wicket-keeper and top-order batsman added.

"I think batsmen will find it harder to get under them and really hit it long because that extra bounce might give the spinners a chance to do something that little bit extra that will get them more wickets."

Sri Lankan batting line up seems pretty much balanced in the presence of both young as well as experienced players. In the top order, they have four very experienced batsmen in Dilshan, Jayasuria, Sangakkara and Jayawardene. Big hitter Jayasuria could be vital for the Lankan team in the match. Middle order line up features Sangakkara and Jayawardene as well as young Chamara Silva and Mathews. Maharoof’s hard-hitting ability lower down the order could be effective for Sri Lanka.

West Indies must be looking for another smashing innings from Gayle who just threw away the Australian bowlers in his way to play a 50-ball 88 in the group stage. However, Gayle is now doubtful for the Sri Lanka match as he is suffering from knee injury.

Reuters reported:

"I'm carrying a bit of an injury and I don't know if I might be playing yet so it's a situation that we need to look at," Gayle told reporters on Tuesday. "I picked it up in the last game from a ball that (Mitchell) Johnson bowled and I'm still struggling a bit with it.

"When I was batting I didn't feel it but the next day I couldn't walk properly and I'm just trying to get back in my stride now. The knee is swollen a lot and bruised, so let's see what happens."

However, West Indies has huge depth in their batting line up in the presence of some big hitters like opener Andre Fletcher, all rounder Dwayne Bravo, Kieron Pollard, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Lendl Simmons and wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin.

Pace attack is the biggest strength of West Indies. In fact, the way West Indies pacer produced short balls in their famous win over India in the Super Eight was excellent and impressive. Bravo, Simmons, Jerome Taylor and Pollard all are pretty much effective, while West Indies is expecting key pacer Fidel Edwards to get over his back injury and make a come back against West Indies; otherwise Sammy would continue his job. Tall, left arm spinner Sulieman Benn could be vital for the Caribbean team and I think, he has a big role to play against Sri Lankan batsmen who are usually very good against spin attack. Benn could get support from occasional spinner Gayle.

Online Live Score and Updates

I know that many of you are eagerly waiting to watch the match on your television. However, if any of you can not manger your time to watch the game on television, then you can get the live score and updates of the match from several cricket websites like Cricinfo, Cricbuzz, Cricket Next etc.

Overall, I do not see any side as a favorite because both sides have some strong sides. It would be vital for both to capitalize on their strengths and keep the pressure off the shoulder. The team which would play at their best would likely be the winner and I am expecting a highly competitive game between Sri Lanka and West Indies.

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