Depleted Sri Lanka bat in series opener


Colombo June 30 (TNS): Angelo Mathews won the toss and chose to bat first on a Galle surface he expected to be good for batting, in the first ODI of the series. Zimbabwe captain Graeme Cremer said he also would have batted first, with the pitch likely to get slower through the day.

Zimbabwe have made a solitary change to the side that won their most recent ODI, against Scotland, swapping Chris Mpofu for Donald Tiripano, who, like Mpofu, is a right-arm seam bowler.

Sri Lanka meanwhile have stacked their attack with slow bowlers. Offspinner Akila Dananjaya plays his first international since 2013, while left-arm spinner Amila Aponso – who had impressed in a debut series last year – also finds a place in the XI. Nuwan Pradeep and Lasith Malinga are the seam options. With Angelo Mathews still unable to bowl as a result of injury, Lahiru Madushanka is in the side as the seam-bowling allrounder.

The toss was conducted under blue skies, but there is a chance of showers in Galle in the afternoon. This is the venue’s first ODI since 2000.

Sri Lanka: 1 Niroshan Dickwella (wk), 2 Danushka Gunathilaka, 3 Kusal Mendis, 4 Upul Tharanga, 5 Angelo Mathews (capt), 6 Asela Gunaratne, 7 Lahiru Madushanka, 8 Akila Dananjaya, 9 Amila Aponso, 10 Lasith Malinga, 11 Nuwan Pradeep

Zimbabwe: 1 Solomon Mire, 2 Hamilton Masakadza, 3 Craig Ervine, 4 Sean Williams, 5 Sikander Raza, 6 Ryan Burl, 7 Peter Moor (wk), 8 Malcolm Waller, 9 Graeme Cremer (capt), 10 Donald Tiripano 11 Tendai Chatara. Courtesy ESPN