The Island nation Sri Lanka is all set to host Zimbabwe for a three-match ODI series starting from the 16th of January. This will be the first limited-overs assignment for the Dasun Shanaka led side in 2022. They are coming off a 2-0 victory over the West Indies side in the Test match series and have started to show a lot of promising signs with superstars in the making.Meanwhile, the Zimbabwe side has a lot of experienced campaigners in their lineup as Craig Ervine is all set to lead the team against Sri Lanka. They will miss the services of their head coach Lachand Rajput who is in isolation as he is hit by Covid-19, however, he will return for the third ODI. Zimbabwe last played an international fixture in September last year in which they won the T20I series against Scotland.THE TEAM NEWSSRI LANKASri Lanka will be led in this three-match ODI series by Rumesh Ratnayake, who has taken charge of the team on an interim basis following the departure of previous head coach Mickey Arthur and will be assisted by Ruwin Paris.Top order batter Aviska Fernando will miss the entirety of the ODI series after having tested positive for Covid-19, however the hosts will be boosted by the presence of Niroshan Dickwella, Danushka Gunathilaka and Kusal Mendis, with all three having had their international suspensions lifted.ZIMBABWEZimbabwe will also enter this first ODI without a permanent head coach in charge of the team, with Lalchand Rajput forced to enter isolation after contracting Covid-19, a blow for Zimbabwe, who have won just one of their last 16 completed ODI fixtures.The tourists will need to put together a batting order capable of making up the runs lost by Brendan Taylor’s retirement, with Craig Ervine named as captain and the experienced duo of Sikandar Raza and Sean Williams expected to form the spine of their batting order.MATCH DETAILS:Sri Lanka vs Zimbabwe 1st ODI
Venue: Pallekele Stadium
Date & Time: January 16th at 2:30 PM (IST and Local Time)PITCH REPORTPallekele International Cricket Stadium, Pallekele Pitch is right for batting. The Pallekele pitch typically dominated with the aid of the batsmen. We ought to desire excessive scoring in shape at this venue. A total of 260+ runs this venue. Hopes for the crew to win the toss must be bat first. Spinners can play a critical function in this in shape
Average score: 248 (25 ODIs at Pallekele)
Record of chasing teams: Won-15, Lost -10PROBABLE PLAYING XI FOR SRI LANKA VS ZIMBABWE:SRI LANKA
SRI LANKA VS ZIMBABWE HEAD-TO-HEADMatches– 57, Sri Lanka – 44, Zimbabwe – 11, N/R- 2PROBABLE TOP PERFORMERSCHARITH ASALANKA – SRI LANKACharith Asalanka was in excellent touch in the T20 World cup 2021 and he is growing well in stature in what has been a great start to an international career. He did well against India in the home series and the 24-year-old looks promising for the future. He is yet to score an international century which he might overcome in the Zimbabwe series.SEAN WILLIAMS – ZIMBABWESean Williams has been around for the Zimbabwe side for a long time and his experience is going to play a key factor in the Island nation. He is almost nearing the 4000 run mark in the format in approaching his 140th game and the 35-year-old is very handy with his left-arm orthodox spin as well.Today’s match prediction: Sri Lanka to win the match.
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