Sri Lanka put a dominant performance in the second One-Day International in Hambantota to pummel West Indies by 161 runs. With this win, the Lankans have taken an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series. Both the teams will now head towards Pallekele to play the third match at Pallekele International Cricket Stadium, scheduled to be held on March 1.
Ground Details and Team Combination
Since 2018, Pallekele Stadium has hosted four ODI matches. The ground has the highest batting average 34.2 than any other ground of Sri Lanka (min. two matches since 2018). Moreover, the average batting run-rate at Pallekele has been a towering 6.8 runs per over which is the joint highest amongst all ODI venues worldwide where more than one ODI has been hosted since 2018.
On the bowling front, there is little to differentiate between pacers and spinners. Since January 2018, pacers have taken a wicket in every 34 deliveries, while spinners have grabbed a wicket in every 32.3 deliveries. However, the fast bowlers have accounted for approximately 60 percent of the wickets fallen in Pallekele by the virtue of the slog overs.
Going by recent stats at the stadium, picking a batting heavy side could prove to be beneficial.
Shai Hope has continued his magnificent white-ball form in Asia this series. He hit a century in the first match in Colombo and backed it up with a fifty in Hambantota. Since June 2019, Hope has the highest batting average (56.41) among Caribbean batsmen. He has crossed the 50-run mark in nine out of 21 innings he has batted in this period and has carried on to notch up three-figures three times – again, the most by any West Indies’ batsman.
Blasting a ton in the second match after a half-century in the first ODI, Avishka Fernando has helped his team dominate West Indies in the ongoing series. He has played only three matches against West Indies and scored 281 runs at an average of 93.67. Interestingly, in all the three matches, he scored in excess of 50. He has the highest batting average against West Indies among all Sri Lankan batsmen.
With three wickets at an average of 25.7 and economy reading 3.9 in this series, Wanindu Hasaranga has been the best spinner on both sides. Since his debut in 2017, the leg-spinner has proved to be a challenge for the opponent team on many occasions. Moreover, he has contributed with the bat as well scoring a crucial 42* in Colombo and then 17 in the second ODI in Hambantota. After the ODI World Cup, the 22-year-old has grabbed seven scalps in 5 innings at 37.7 balls per wicket, the best strike rate amongst all Sri Lanka spinners.
The 23-year old Alzarri Joseph is slowly emerging into a vital cog in West Indies’ bowling unit in ODI cricket. In the ongoing series, the right-arm fast bowler has grabbed three wickets apiece in both the matches. After the 2019 World Cup, Joseph has taken a wicket in every 28.8 deliveries. In the current squad, he holds the best strike rate among other West Indies bowlers who have played a minimum of five ODIs after the World Cup in 2019.
So, who should you pick in your fantasy team for this encounter? We will go for a combination of five frontline batsmen including the wicket-keeper, one all-rounder and five bowlers in our side.
Suggested FanFight Team:
Shai Hope(c/wk), Avishka Fernando (vc), Dimuth Karunaratne, Kusal Mendis, Darren Bravo, Thisara Perera, Isuru Udana, Nuwan Pradeep, Wanindu Hasaranga, Alzarri Joseph, Sheldon Cottrell