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Eliminated Sri Lanka and West Indies compete for pride
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Eliminated Sri Lanka and West Indies compete for pride

Sri Lanka's hopes of advancing into the semi-finals have all come crashing down following England's victory over India.

Despite the glaring inefficiencies in the Sri Lankan line-up, they have at times conjured up some remarkable performances in the tournament although those moments of brilliance have been far too brief.

They toppled pre-tournament favourites England for an unlikely win while defending a paltry score of 232 but soon succumbed to a humiliating nine-wicket loss against South Africa, further diminishing their low chances of qualifying for the next round.

Inconsistency in the batting department has been a focal concern for Sri Lanka with the openers always providing a decent start, which has been squandered by the struggling middle order on repeated occasions.

However skipper Dimuth Karunaratne has refused to rule out a dramatic turnaround for Sri Lanka in their World Cup fortunes.

"We can't control the other games, you know. Sometimes they were playing really well, sometimes they couldn't," Karunaratne claimed on the eve of the game against the West Indies.

"I think we had a good chance. Still we have a chance, I think, but we have to win these two games and wait to see what will happen in the other games.

The West Indies have fared rather poorly since their breezy seven-wicket win over Pakistan in their opening game of the tournament.

Jason Holder's side has embraced a sudden downward trajectory in the games that have followed depicting the sheer lack of temperament and application shown by the one-dimensional batsmen.

The West Indies unit has been found guilty of employing rigid tactics that have continued to backfire although things could have looked a lot different for them had they snuck through to victories against Australia and New Zealand.

Coach Floyd Reifer said: “We had a long conversation in the dressing room, so we did a lot of soul-searching.

"It is important for us and important for the fans in the Caribbean as well, for us to put up the performances, even at the back end of the World Cup."

Thomas' waning form under the scanner

Oshane Thomas, the bulky Caribbean pacer, rattled Pakistan on his World Cup debut with a sizzling four-wicket haul.

However, the youngster has not had desired results as the tournament has progressed despite cranking up high speeds.

His predictable lines and lengths have rendered him ineffective but he could afford to stick with his strengths against a meek Sri Lankan batting unit and perhaps recover his lost form.

Malinga's last hurrah

As Lasith Malinga approaches the expected final moments of his illustrious career, he has still managed to up his performance by a notch during this World Cup.

Comfortably overshadowing the other pacers in Sri Lanka's squad, Malinga has relied on his pinpoint accuracy to deliver excellent yorkers time and again.

With nine wickets in five games, Malinga would be hoping for yet another fast bowling masterclass to give Sri Lanka their third win of the tournament.


Sri Lanka: Dimuth Karunaratne (c), Avishka Fernando, Suranga Lakmal, Angelo Mathews, Lasith Malinga, Jeevan Mendis, Kusal Mendis, Kusal Perera (wk), Thisara Perera, Dhananjaya de Silva, Milinda Siriwardena, Lahiru Thirimanne, Isuru Udana, Jeffrey Vandersay, Kasun Ranjitha

West Indies: Jason Holder (c), Chris Gayle, Kemar Roach, Darren Bravo, Sunil Ambris, Shai Hope, Sheldon Cottrell, Evin Lewis, Shannon Gabriel, Carlos Brathwaite, Ashely Nurse, Shimron Hetmyer, Fabian Allen, Oshane Thomas, Nicholas Pooran