SL v ZIM

1st ODI – SRI LANKA VS ZIMBABWE – FANTASY PREVIEW!

Zimbabwe had a good preparation in the European tour and now they have reached Sri Lanka to play five ODIs and only test. This is going to be Zimbabwe’s first tour to Sri Lanka since 2000. Sri Lankans who departed early from the Champions Trophy tournament would use this series to regain their confident, before facing India in July. As both teams are ready to go, the tour starts with the first ODI between Sri Lanka vs Zimbabwe which is schedule to begin at 10 AM Local | 10 AM IST on Friday, 30th June 2017.

 

SRI LANKA :

Sri Lankan cricket had plenty of ups and downs in last few years. In recent times, they have faced a shocking defeat against Scotland in a preparation for Champions Trophy tournament last month. In the major Champions Trophy tournament, Angelo Mathews and his team has shown their fighting spirit in all three group matches, but they managed to win only against India. That sent them back home and it is time for them to re-collect the confidence by defeating Zimbabwe in their own yard. Sri Lanka’s head coach Graham Ford resigned his job few days back and that’s also a set back for the home team right now. Cricket Sri Lanka has announced 14 players squad for two matches of the five match series and that has lot of young players.

All Rounder Angelo Mathews, the captain of the team used to bat only in the Champions Trophy due to the injuries he over-through in last one year time. He is a major key player for Sri Lanka and as he had rest for last couple weeks, he is expected to provide all round performances with both bat and bowl. Also, Mathews is expected to do good job as a captain of the team. Wicket keeper batsman Niroshan Dickwella, Danushka Gunathilaka and Upul Tharanga are in the team to cover opening slots, interestingly all three of them are left-handed batsmen. Danushka Gunathilaka who had done so well against India by opening the innings, he is expected to open the batting along with Dickwella in this match. That means, the experienced Upul Tharanga would move to middle-order and strengthen the middle-order on the absence of Dinesh Chandimal. Dickwella is an aggressive opener and he used to score runs quickly in almost ever ODI matches that he played. As they faces Zimbabwe, both Dickwella and Gunathilaka has a big opportunities to showcase their talents and cements their places in the team. The young sensation Kusal Mendis struggled a bit in recent times. He scored 89 runs against India and was one of the major reason for the team to win that match. But apart from that innings, he did not play much of big knocks in recent times. So, this is his chance to make an impact in a big way and helps the team to win big.

As Sri Lanka has more than 4 all rounders in their side, it is not easy to predict their lineups easily. They have added Amila Aponso to the squad on the eve of the match. If Thranga bat at no. 4, all rounders Mathews and Asela Gunaratne are expected to bat at no. 5 and 6 respectively. Asela Gunaratne gave his best for the test since his international debut in 2016. He is one of must watch player in this game and he is expected to provide all round performances for his team. Almost three players would fight for no. 7 position in the batting order. Lahiru Madushanka, Akila Dananjaya and Wanidu Hasaranga – all three of them are all rounders. Wanidu Hasaranga is yet to make his international debut, but Madushanka and Dananjaya has played ODIs for Sri Lanka. Among three of them, any one will fulfill no. 7 in the playing XI. The experienced Lasith Malinga faced suspension and 50% fine on Wednesday, will play in this series. Malinga has a huge role to play and this will be his big opportunity to regain his old rhythm and aggression with the bowl. Nuwan Pradeep impressed a lot during Champions Trophy, he could be the partner of Malinga in the pace department. As Sri Lanka is expected to play with heavy spin attack, Dushmantha Chameera might be sit out for this game. Amila Aponso and Lakshan Sandakan, the two left-arm spinners are in the squad. Sri Lanka may play with both left-arm spinners, if they go with either one of them then Dushmantha Chameera may play 3rd seamers role.

 

ZIMBABWE :

Zimbabwe had tour to Scotland and Netherlands before landed in Sri Lanka. In that European tour, Zimbabwe had pretty good preparations for this major series. They have started the series against Scotland with a big loss, then came back well and defeated Scotland successfully in the second match and leveled the series 1-1. In the tour of Netherlands, both the teams has played 3 limited overs matches. Zimbabwe carried forward their victory moments to Netherlands and won first two matches comfortably. After winning the series, they have rested four important players of their XI and gave a chances to their bench players. Result of that match was not in favor of Zimbabwe but they have learnt a lesson and that would help them to correct their errors ahead of this first match against Sri Lanka.

Solomon Mire and Hamilton Mazakadza opened the innings for Zimbabwe in both Scotland and Netherlands. Mazakadza, the most experienced batsman in the squad is yet to play big knocks. He started well in almost every innings on those tours, but failed to get big scores. He did not score single half-century in last 5 matches, but things may turnaround and he could shine on Friday. All rounder Solomon Mire had a bad outings with bowl, but he contributed with bat. He scored match winning 82 runs against Netherlands in second match and also scored 40 against Scotland. If he get a good day with ball, he may turn out as a match winner for his team with all round performances. Chamu Chibhabha did not get chance in first 4 matches, then he played last match against Netherlands. He was expected to prove his point and give some tough fight to selectors. But he failed to score runs and picked 1 for 48 in 10 overs. As those was not an impressive show, Zimbabwe may put him in bench again. Craig Ervine had a disappointing start in the first match against Scotland, where he dismissed for duck. After than innings, he started to score runs and scored 30, 44 and 77 runs respectively. He was rested in the last match and he is all set to go against Sri Lanka on Friday. Keep an eyes on Ervine, he would be a big impact player for Zimbabwe.

All rounder Sean Williams, the best performer of Zimbabwe in 2015 WC, had some tough time for past one year. But he was back to the level where he belongs with his performances in Europe. He has picked 5 wickets in 4 matches with an economical spells. His left-arm spin is an asset for Zimbabwe in the middle-overs, also he does a good job with bat. He scored fighting 70 against Scotland in the first match and finished the game for his team with quick 29 runs against Netherlands in his last match. Batting all rounder Sikandar Raza also struggled for long time, then he had a good outings in Europe. He was Zimbabwe’s bowling hero in that tour where he picked 9 wickets in 5 matches. Also played 2 match winning knocks with a bat. He is expected to offer another good show on Friday. Ryan Burl, the middle-order batsman keep on gets his chances, but failed to perform in almost every match. Some chances for Burl to make a way for Tarisai Musakanda. Wicket keeper Peter Moor and Malcolm Waller did not get much of batting chances in those matches. Malcolm Waller batted in two innings and he played two big knocks. He scored 92 and 50 runs respectively, but Zimbabwe lost both of those matches. As Ryan Burl is not performing well, Waller may promote to no. 6. Captain Graeme Cremer picked 5 wickets haul against Scotland, but did not impress much against Netherlands. As Sri Lanka is the host and opposition on this series, Cremer should lead his team from the front and that the same are expected from him. Tendai Chatara and Chris Mpofu took care of pacers duties and done their role really well. Chatara would be a key bowler and Mpofu is expected to accompany him well. Donald Tiripano and Richard Ngarava are the other pace options. Zimbabwe has added Wellington Mazakadza as 16th member in the squad and Wellington may help his team on Sri Lanka’s spin-friendly pitches.

 

KEY PLAYERS :

SRI LANKA :

  • Angelo Mathews
  • Danushka Gunathilaka
  • Niroshan Dickwella
  • Upul Tharanga
  • Asela Gunaratne
  • Kusal Mendis
  • Lasith Malinga
  • Nuwan Pradeep
  • Lakshan Sandakan

 

ZIMBABWE :

  • Craig Ervine
  • Hamilton Mazakadza
  • Sean Williams
  • Sikandar Raza
  • Solomon Mire
  • Malcolm Waller
  • Graeme Cremer
  • Tendai Chatara
  • Chris Mpofu

 

POSSIBLE LINEUPS :

SRI LANKA :

1. Niroshan Dickwella, 2. Danushka Gunathilaka, 3. Kusal Mendis, 4. Upul Tharanga, 5. Angelo Mathews, 6. Asela Gunaratne, 7. Lahiru Madushanka / Wanidu Hasaranga, 8. Amila Aponso, 9. Lasith Malinga, 10. Nuwan Pradeep, 11. Lakshan Sandakan.

ZIMBABWE :

1. Solomon Mire, 2. Hamilton Mazakadza, 3. Craig Ervine, 4. Sean Williams, 5. Sikandar Raza, 6. Malcolm Waller, 7. Peter Moor, 8. Ryan Burl / Wellington Mazakadza, 9. Graeme Cremer, 10. Tendai Chatara, 11. Chris Mpofu.

 

Best Wishes to all your Fantasy Teams for this Match from Team FCN!!

 

 

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