ICL: Indian Cricket League

Sri Lanka wary of taking Zimbabwe for granted


Sri Lanka cricket coach Tom Moody will raise Zimbabwe to the same league as Australia and India when they clash in Tuesday’s International Cricket Council (ICC) Champions Trophy qualifier here.

“Quite clearly we’ll be approaching this game just like any other — whether it’s Zimbabwe, England, Australia or India, it makes no difference,” said Moody. The Sri Lankans, considered one of the favourites to win the 10-nation tournament, began their campaign with an emphatic 37-run win over Bangladesh in Mohali on Saturday.

Lowly Zimbabwe were thrashed by nine wickets by Brian Lara’s West Indies here on Sunday, the match ending towards the close of the first session even before the lights were switched on in the day-night game.

Sri Lanka will qualify for the main tournament with their second win on Tuesday and the West Indies will join them if they defeat Bangladesh in Jaipur on Wednesday. Moody, a two-time World Cup champion as a player with Australia in 1987 and 1999, said his team will not take victory for granted against cricket’s whipping boys. “My emphasis to the players will be that we’re going in to win this match, the opposition is irrelevant,” he said. “Whether Zimbabwe have world class players in their side or not is not relevant. What is more important is that we have a game to play with the intensity we have with any match.

“If anyone thinks they can come into a match like this with a foot off the gas and not quite switched on they can be in for a rude shock,” he added. Moody rubbished suggestions Sri Lanka would prefer to bat on winning the toss to gain useful practice rather than field and bring about a quick end to the match - like the West Indies did with Zimbabwe. “If we win the toss we’ll decide not on the basis of the opposition, but on the basis of conditions and the game plan,” he said.

Captain Mahela Jayawardene said he remained concerned by the bowling which allowed Bangladesh to post 265-9 on Saturday after conceding 36 extras. “We were not that disciplined in the bowling department in the last game,” he said. “There were a lot of extras. We seemed to relax a bit towards the middle of the game when we knew we were cruising.”

Jayawardene, however, put the match in perspective when he hinted that some players may be rested on Tuesday. “It’s an important tournament and we don’t want to tax ourselves,” he said. “We want everyone to be fresh. We might think of rotating a few guys, but we have not finalised that yet.”


Sri Lanka (from): Mahela Jayawardene (captain), Kumar Sangakkara, Sanath Jayasuriya, Marvan Atapattu, Upul Tharanga, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Chamara Kapugedara, Farveez Maharoof, Chaminda Vaas, Ruchira Perera, Dilhara Fernando, Lasith Malinga, Malinga Bandara and Muttiah Muralitharan.

Zimbabwe (from): Prosper Utseya (captain), Stuart Matsikenyeri, Brendan Taylor, Tafadzwa Mufambisi, Elton Chigumbura, Hamilton Masakadza, Terry Duffin, Tawanda Mupariwa, Ed Rainsford, Piet Rinke, Anthony Ireland, Gregory Strydom, Chamu Chibhabha and Tafadzwa Kamungozi.

ICC Champions Trophy Points Table

Teams P W L Pts NRR

West Indies 1 1 - 2 +4.579

Sri Lanka 1 1 - 2 +0.740

Bangladesh 1 - 1 0 -0.740

Zimbabwe 1 - 1 0 -4.579
Source:The News

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