It’s been almost three years since Sri Lanka have won a bilateral ODI series. Now, with a World Cup less than two weeks away, they will be starting afresh, under a new captain in Dimuth Karunaratne, seeking to familiarise themselves with English conditions.
The second ODI against Scotland on Tuesday at Grange CC here will be the last game of the series after the first one was washed out without a ball bowled. But Sri Lanka will have further chances yet to work out team combinations and individual form of players as they play two official warm-up games, against South Africa and Australia, over the next week.
On the other hand, Scotland, will be itching to leave their impression against a higher-ranked opponent at home. They lost a close game against Afghanistan earlier this month, but have shown that they can perform well in their backyard. For Scotland, this will be another step in a larger bid for pushing their case for Full ICC Membership with a win.
Scottish skipper Kyle Coetzer has always led by example with his consistent performances. He has three fifty-plus scores in his last four ODI innings and he is known for his handy contributions to shore up the innings. As an opening batsman, he will be expected to set the tone again.
From the Sri Lankan side Kusal Mendis was the only positive from their 5-0 defeat against South Africa in March this year. The right-hander was the only Sri Lankan batsman to cross 200 runs in the five-match series. His tally included two fifty-plus scores, and came at an average of over 40. He will need to bring the same kind of form into the World Cup, where he will have a huge role to play.
While the forecast doesn’t look as bleak as it was for the first ODI, brief showers are expected around noon. Short boundaries and a flat surface make this ground a batting paradise. In the last completed game Scotland played here, they scored 325/7 batting first, but it still didn’t prove enough against Afghanistan.
SCOTLAND: Kyle Coetzer (c), Dylan Budge, Scott Cameron, George Munsey, Matthew Cross (wk), Alasdair Evans, Michael Jones, Tom Sole, Michael Leask, Calum MacLeod, Gavin Main, Safyaan Sharif, Craig Wallace, Mark Watt and Brad Wheal.
SRI LANKA: Dimuth Karunaratne (c), Avishka Fernando, Suranga Lakmal, Lasith Malinga, Angelo Mathews, Jeevan Mendis, Kusal Mendis (wk), Thisara Perera, Nuwan Pradeep, Dhananjaya de Silva, Milinda Siriwardana, Lahiru Thirimanne, Isuru Udana and Jeffrey Vandersay.