It is the first match of the 2012 T20 World Cup and the hosts Sri Lanka will play Zimbabwe as the home side looks to take an easy two points away from this match. Sri Lanka have impressed during their matches in the warm ups recording a loss against India and a win against the West Indies. Zimbabwe have had a tough time in their warm up matches getting thrashed by Ireland and losing narrowly to Bangladesh. A key for Zimbabwe if they are to get close in this match is to score lots of runs and Hamilton Masakadza will important for that role. Lasith Malinga has had a quiet last few months with the ball but he will hope to turn it around this World Cup.
Match Information :
September 18, Hambontota
Starting Time: 1930 Local Time (1400 GMT Time)
Lasith Malinga vs Hamilton Masakadaza
Lasith Malinga needs to regain his best form as he has been struggling immensely with the ball in the past few months. We are so familiar with Malinga picking up bags of wickets in the T20′s but it just hasn’t happened for him recently, maybe batsman are knowing how he bowls and playing against it easier. Zimbabwe can really struggle to put runs on the board especially if their big gun players like Hamilton Masakadaza doesn’t perform. Hamilton doesn’t have the greatest stats with an average of 27.95 at 120.99 but he is capable of big things like when he scored 44 off 27 against Ireland in the warm-up. Malinga struggled in the warm-ups only picking up 2 wickets all together in the games against the West Indies and India which included conceding 50 runs against India.
Zimbabwe should play the top 7 that played Bangladesh in the warm-up as that will give them a long list of batting to try and make a decent score. The bowling selections will be hard, they have 3 quality spinners in Ray Price, Prosper Utseya and Graeme Cremer then they have the pace bowlers in Chris Mpofu, Kyle Jarvis and Brian Vitori. They may choose to go for 2 spinners and 2 fast bowlers which could mean Utseya and Vitori could miss out.
Sri Lanka have a lot of high quality options to choose from for the opening match. They should open with Dilshan and Mahela Jayawardene which will mean Munaweera will have to carry the drinks. Sri Lanka will play Malinga and Kulesakera and perhaps use Thisara Perera as a third seamer to accommodate two specialist spinners in Eranga and Ajantha Mendis.