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Hosts West Indies take on Sri Lanka in the first T20 of a 3-match series at the Coolidge Cricket Ground in Antigua on Wednesday night. 

West Indies play for the first time at home since the pandemic struck last year. They will play their first T20 matches of 2021 with this series and will look to build their squad for the T20 World Cup later this year. 

C Gayle and F Edward are some of the old faces to be named in the squad for this series. They have a solid mix of experience with the likes of D Bravo, K Pollard, J Holder and L Simmons, along with exciting new talents such as N Pooran and A Hosain. It will be interesting to see how they fare against Sri Lanka.

Unlike the West Indies, it has been almost a year since Sri Lanka played any T20 matches. Their last series was against the Windies at home, which they lost by a 2-0 margin. The team will be hoping to perform much better in these three games.

A Mathews will lead the team in the first game in the absence of D Shanaka. O Fernando, D Gunathilaka, N Dickwella and big-hitting all-rounder T Perera are expected to play a huge role in the game. The team possesses some good pace bowlers in D Chameera, S Lakmal and N Pradeep. W Hasaranga and L Sandakan will take up the spin-bowling duties in this match.

With both teams building their squads and keeping an eye on the big tournament, expect an exciting and entertaining game of T20 in this first match of the series.

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Match Details

  • Match: West Indies vs. Sri Lanka, 1st T20
  • Venue: Coolidge Cricket Ground, Antigua
  • Date & Time: Mar. 4, 2020, at 3:30 AM IST

Probable Playing XI

West Indies

L Simmons, E Lewis, C Gayle, N Pooran (WK), K Pollard (C), R Powell, J Holder, D Bravo, F Allen, O McCoy, A Hosein

Sri Lanka

D Gunathilaka, O Fernando, D Chandimal, A Mathews (C), N Dickwella (WK), T Perera, W Hasaranga, D Chameera, S Lakmal, N Pradeep, L Sandakan

Weather and Pitch Report

The weather is expected to be partly cloudy in Antigua during the match. It may be a rain-interrupted game as thunderstorms are expected during the night. The temperature will be around 25 degrees during the game.

The Coolidge Cricket Ground is making its international debut in this game. The wicket offered a good balance between bat and ball in the recently-concluded domestic 50-over matches. Expect some turn and bounce from the surface as seen in the previous games here. The first innings score should be around 160 runs.

Chasing is the best option when there are new conditions on offer. Both teams come into the international circuit after a break so expect the captain winning the toss to put the opposition to bat first.

Key Players

  • L Simmons is in great form in white-ball cricket, with scores of 146, 68 and 102 in the last three games for Trinidad. He will bat at the top of the order and will look to continue his purple patch in this match.
  • C Gayle has been successful at the No.3 position in the recent T20 and T10 tournaments, which prompted his return to the T20 team after a gap of almost two years. He is coming off 2 good knocks in the ongoing-Pak T20 League and will look to continue the same form here.
  • J Holder has improved his white-ball game drastically and is back in the national T20 team. He had a successful outing with Hyderabad in the Indian T20 League last year and did well in the recent domestic 50-over tournament. He will look to make an all-round contribution in this match.
  • D Gunathilaka was the highest run scorer of the inaugural edition of the Lanka T20 League, with 476 runs in 10 innings at an average of 59.5. He scored 4 half centuries in the tournament and will look to start this series on a positive note. 
  • N Dickwella did well in the recent T20 and Test matches, scoring runs consistently. He scored 270 runs in nine matches in the Lanka T20 League, and 242 runs in four Tests against South Africa and England. He will be dangerous at the top of the order and will look to perform well for his side.
  • W Hasaranga was the highest wicket taker of the Lanka T20 League 2020, with 17 wickets at an average of 11.29 and an economy rate of 5.18. He was effective with the bat too, scoring 127 runs at a strike rate of 160.75. He is a match-winner in this format.

Howzat Dream Team

  • Wicketkeepers: N Pooran, N Dickwella
  • Batsmen: L Simmons, C Gayle, A Matthews, D Gunathilaka 
  • All-rounder: J Holder, W Hasaranga
  • Bowlers: A Hosain, O McCoy, D Chameera
  • Captain: C Gayle/L Simmons
  • Vice Captain: N Dickwella/W Hasaranga

NOTE: The Howzat dream team above is just a suggestion. You can name your fantasy prediction and play fantasy cricket matches. Also, don’t forget to make any necessary changes to your team once the actual playing 11 is announced by each team (30 minutes before the start of the match) as some players you have selected might not be part of the team suggested.

Get fantasy cricket tips on your favorite fantasy sports app and select your own team, Howzat!

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