West Indies chose to field first against Sri Lanka in a Cricket World Cup group game on Monday that will have no bearing on the playoffs but has plenty of pride at stake for each team.
Sri Lanka was still in semifinal contention until Sunday evening, when England’s victory over previously unbeaten India ended the chances of Dimuth Karunaratne’s squad making it to the last four. It was a payback of sorts from the tournament hosts, after Sri Lanka’s upset win over England at Leeds had opened up the competition.
The West Indies slipped out of contention last week following a fourth consecutive defeat, but coach Floyd Reifer said the future starts with the game against Sri Lanka.
Reifer said his team had plenty to play for and would be up for the game at Durham’s county ground at Chester-le-Street.
Veteran opener Chris Gayle starts the game, his 294th ODI, needing 53 runs to pass Brian Lara’s mark of 10,348 as the most prolific scorer for West Indies in one-day international cricket.
Sri Lanka has won the last three meetings between the two countries at World Cups, and five of its last six ODIs against West Indies.
The forecast is for a mild, overcast day.
Sri Lanka: Dimuth Karunaratne (C), Kusal Perera (WK), Avishka Fernando, Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Lahiru Thirimanne, Dhananjaya de Silva, Isuru Udana, Jeffrey Vandersay, Kasun Rajitha, Lasith Malinga
West Indies: Chris Gayle, Sunil Ambris, Shai Hope (WK), Nicholas Pooran, Shimron Hetmyer, Jason Holder (C), Carlos Brathwaite, Fabian Allen, Sheldon Cottrell, Oshane Thomas, Shannon Gabriel