BULAWAYO, Sri Lanka, CMC– West Indies are eyeing a spot in the final and are also aiming to climb the ODI rankings when they play Sri Lanka in the 5th match of the tri-series here today.
The Caribbean side trounced Sri Lanka in their opening fixture before battling to a sensational tie against Zimbabwe, the third team in the series.
West Indies remain ninth in the ICC ODI rankings but are just one point behind Pakistan and the outcome of the rest of their matches could bring them closer to seventh ranked Bangladesh.
A win for Jason Holder’s men at Queens Sports Club, Bulawayo, will guarantee their place in the tri-series final on Sunday.
Windies are expected to turn to the in-form Shai Hope and Kraigg Brathwaite’s to build on the momentum they have provided for the team thus far.
Hope, with 148 runs from two innings, is the leading run-scorer of the tri-series as well as the only century-maker.
Also, West Indies fast bowling firepower is also expected to be a factor against a young Sri Lanka outfit with an uncertain middle order.
“We know we’re playing good cricket. We had a good win against Sri Lanka [in Harare]. These lads work very hard on their fitness,” said West Indies batting coach Toby Radford.
“We do a lot of fielding drills in the days leading up to these matches, and the combination of those two things is starting to pay dividends. We’re looking like a good fielding side, and at this level of the game, every run you stop is a run you don’t have to score.”
West Indies and Sri Lanka will be keeping a close eye on the weather on Wednesday as well since it could have an impact on which two teams appear in the finals.
Heavy rains and wet outfields forced the abandonment of Monday’s fourth match between Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka.
Another wash-out could put Zimbabwe out of the running since they require a huge bonus-point victory to draw level and increase their net run-rate.
Forecasters are predicting inclement weather in the afternoon where the outcome could be determined by way of the Duckworth-Lewis method.
A suspect drainage system at Queens means that the match could also be affected if there is moderate rain, particularly since heavy rains in recent days have already saturated the soil.