Photo Credit: Cricket West Indies
West Indies need a win to stay alive when they come up against Sri Lanka in the second encounter of the three-match ODI Series. Having lost Saturday’s first match by one wicket in the last over, West Indies will look to rebound and draw level at the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Stadium in the coastal town of Hambantota on Wednesday.
- First ball in the day/night contest is 2:30pm (5am Eastern Caribbean Time/4am Jamaica Time). Fans can catch the action online available on https://www.youtube.com/user/TheOfficialSLC as well as the SLC webpage http://cricket.lk
- Global weather and digital media leader https://www.accuweather.com offered match-day weather insights – temperatures as predicted to be 36 Degrees Celsius – with sunshine all day and just a few and patchy clouds.
Shai Hope has been batting brilliantly for the last two years and has been the West Indies leading run-maker – with five centuries in the last nine months. The fifth came on Saturday when he stroked 115 to solidify the innings. He has the record for the most runs by a West Indies wicket-keeper in ODIs with 3,166 runs in 71 innings at an impressive average of 51.90 runs, ahead of Denesh Ramdin 2,200, Jeff Dujon 1,945, and Ridley Jacobs 1,865.
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“I still think we’re in good stead. I don’t think it is much to worry about. Yes, it is one loss; we don’t’ want to lose any games in cricket but that’s how it goes sometimes,” Hope told members of the media on Tuesday afternoon ahead of training.
“It’s a three-match series; we have what we really need to do in front of us and we know that Sri Lanka is not going to let it happen, so we’re gonna make sure that we put our best foot forward and make sure we do what we need to do to win these next two games.”
Hope’s average as an opener is 91.88 after 21 innings – seven of his nine centuries have come from the top of the order; six in Asia – where his average after 15 innings is 123.66. Last Saturday’s century at the Sinhalese Sports Club was the highest score by a West Indian in Sri Lanka, surpassing the 110 made by opener Adrian Barath back in 2011.
“Every ground has its different challenges, but I’m sure that’s why this quick run that we’re gonna have before the game tomorrow will give us an idea of how the conditions are going to be…. I’m sure we will get out of it what we need to do today, to be prepared and ready for the game tomorrow,” the 26-year-old said.
Sri Lanka coach Mickey Arthur is also looking forward to the contest which will be the 59th between the two teams. In the head to head both have won 28 times with three no results.
“You can buy into strategy, you can buy into game plans, and you can buy into work ethic, but you need wins along the way. By getting that win, albeit in a very close game, we almost solidified the path we’re on. The guys buy into the game we want to play and buy into our brand of cricket. Wins give you that confidence and that morale boost – that you are actually on the right track. Getting a win in quite a close game does tend to bind the guys quite nicely,” Arthur said.