Sri Lanka vs West Indies 1st T20 Match Prediction
- Sri Lanka will be high on confidence after sweeping the West Indies 3-0 in the preceding ODI series.
- Sri Lanka will be without some of their key members like Nuwan Pradeep, Dhananjaya de Silva and Danushka Gunathilaka.
- Sri Lanka are struggling in the twenty-over format and they have lost their last five completed matches in a row.
Sri Lanka vs West Indies 1st T20 Match Prediction
After being blanked 0-3 in the ODI series, West Indies will be hoping for a quick turnaround of fortunes as the tour heads into the twenty-over format. The first of the two T20 internationals is scheduled to be played on March 4 at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium. Live telecast of the match will begin at 7 PM local time.
Live streaming SL vs WI 1st T20
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The venue is expected to offer a surface that will remain good for batting for the entire duration of the match. So the team that wins the toss here will more likely opt to chase.
Plenty of cloud cover can be expected throughout the game. However, the possibility of rain is extremely low and so we could still have a full forty-over contest. Temperatures are likely to be between 23 and 26 degrees Celsius.
Traditionally, the pitch at Pallekele is very good for batting and the final ODI on Sunday was a proof of that where both the teams scored over 300 runs. 167 is the average first-innings score at this ground in T20Is.
Sri Lanka Team News & Playing 11
SL Team News
Sri Lanka have been dealt a few injury blows ahead of this opening T20I against the West Indies. Pace bowler Nuwan Pradeep, who picked up a hamstring injury in the third ODI, will be out of action for more than a month. All-rounder Dhananjaya de Silva has also been ruled out with a wrist injury while Danushka Gunathilaka is nursing a recurring back injury. In the absence of Gunathilaka, Niroshan Dickwella is likely to open the batting alongside Avishka Fernando. The Sri Lankan selectors have roped in Asitha Fernando and Shehan Jayasuriya as the respective replacements for Pradeep and Gunathilaka.
SL Key Players
Avishka Fernando: The opener finished the ODI series as the second-highest run-scorer with 206 runs at an average of 68.66. His fifty in the first game was followed by a cracking century in the second and the in-form Sri Lankan batsman will be the one to watch out for.
Kusal Perera: He is one of the leading run-getters at Pallekele in the T20 format having scored 190 runs in 7 matches. The wicketkeeper scored 44 in the third ODI and will look to start this series off with a good knock.
Lasith Malinga: Sri Lanka will expect their skipper to pick wickets in the powerplay. The veteran fast bowler has taken the most wickets at this venue in this format - 17 wickets in 10 matches and is having an economy of 6.62 here.
SL Team Form
Sri Lanka have not had a good time of late in the game's twenty-over format. Since last year, they have played 15 T20 internationals out of which they have won 4, lost 10 and tied 1. They have won only one of their last seven bilateral T20I series - when they whitewashed Pakistan 3-0 in Pakistan last year in October. Since then, the Lankans have played two series and have suffered clean sweeps in both; they lost 0-3 on their tour of Australia before going down 0-2 in the three-match series against India.
Sri Lanka Predicted Playing 11
Avishka Fernando, Niroshan Dickwella, Kusal Perera (wk), Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Dasun Shanaka, Thisara Perera, Lasith Malinga (c), Isuru Udana, Wanindu Hasaranga, Lakshan Sandakan
West Indies Team News & Playing 11
WI Team News
Big-hitting all-rounder Andre Russell has been recalled for this two-match T20 international series. Batsman Shai Hope, all-rounder Fabian Allen and pace bowler Oshane Thomas have also returned to the team's 14-man squad. Shimron Hetmyer, who missed the preceding ODI series after failing to pass a fitness test, has also been included for the shortest format. The Windies will probably open their innings with Lendl Simmons and Shai Hope and could draft both the spinners - Hayden Walsh and Fabian Allen - into the starting eleven for this first T20I.
WI Key Players
Andre Russell: The spotlight will be on this all-rounder who is returning to international T20 cricket after more than a year. The Sri Lankans will be wary of his game-changing abilities, especially with the bat, and will want to get rid of him as early as possible.
Shai Hope: He smashed a 50+ score in each of the three ODIs to top the series runs chart with 238 runs at an average of 79.33. The Windies will expect the in-form batsman to play another sparkling innings on this tour.
Dwayne Bravo: He is the team's go-to man when it comes to crunch situations. The all-rounder is a reliable middle-order batsman and a canny death bowler. Bravo is the leading wicket-taker for the West Indies in T20Is with 57 wickets in 69 matches.
WI Team Form
Despite being a formidable T20 outfit, West Indies have not been able to win enough games in recent times; they managed to muster only 3 wins in their last 14 20-over encounters. Their most recent T20I assignment came earlier in the year in Ireland where they drew 1-1 with the hosts in a three-match series. Prior to that, the Windies faced a 1-2 defeat against Afghanistan before losing by the same scoreline to India in India.
West Indies Predicted Playing 11
Lendl Simmons, Shai Hope, Shimron Hetmyer, Nicholas Pooran (wk), Dwayne Bravo, Kieron Pollard (c), Andre Russell, Fabian Allen, Hayden Walsh, Sheldon Cottrell, Oshane Thomas/Kesrick Williams
SL vs WI Head to Head
Sri Lanka and West Indies have played nine T20 internationals against each other with the scoreline 6-3 in favor of the former.
West Indies, however, have beaten Sri Lanka in the previous two meetings - by 23 runs at Colombo in 2015 and most recently by seven wickets at Bengaluru in the 2016 T20 World Cup.
The two countries have faced each other twice at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium in the shortest format with the hosts emerging victorious on both occasions - by 9 wickets in 2012 and by 30 runs in 2015.
SL vs WI Head to Head Stats
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