Ed Hawkins previews Saturday's match in Pallekele as the two joint second favourites go head-to-head
"Pallekele is super-reliable with a first-innings average of 179"
Sri Lanka v West Indies
Start time: 15.00
TV: live on Sky Sports 1
The home side have yet to fire in this tournament. They were not even in a rain-affected game against South Africa and then they were pushed hard by New Zealand, taking the spoils on an eliminator following a tie.
They need to buck up with the ball and in the field. And also make better decisions. Ajantha Mendis has been struggling with a side strain and went for 12 an over against the Kiwis. If he's not fit, don't pick him.
The Windies are joint second favourites with Sri Lanka for glory. That is no surprise as they were short even before a ball had been bowled. Yet as impressive as their team looks in terms of individuals, what have they actually achieved so far? Beaten a lacklustre England. That's it. This will be the acid test.
Venue and conditions
Pallekele is super-reliable with a first-innings average of 179. When we can be so sure of the nature of the pitch, and two solid batting line-ups, it makes sense to stick to what we know. So although not as exciting as a match odds wager, going long on 160 first-innings runs is the brains bet.
Sri Lanka are unlikely to see much support at skinny odds of 1.834/5. West Indies are 2.1011/10. When two sides are as closely matches as this the value has to be the West Indies, particularly as they have so many game changers with the bat.
They will need to be smarter in the field, though. They were profligate against Australia and almost let England back into the match. Sri Lanka are the sort of side who won't need a second invitation.
Top Sri Lanka batsman
Tillakaratne Dilshan kept Sri Lanka in the game against New Zealand with a half-century. Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara are the only other two to pick from here.
Top West Indies batsman
Johnson Charles and Chris Gayle blasted the Windies into superiority against England. Johnson, something of an unknown quantity, is a slower starter than Gayle, however, so bear in mind he may need more time at the crease.
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