The dice is heavily loaded in Sri Lanka’s favour versus Zimbabwe. Largely past statistics of a distinct 44 to 11 win ratio is the all-aces trumps-up build-up hype to the 3-match ODI Series that Dasun Shanaka’s new look Sri Lankan outfit basks in even before a ball has been bowled.
Against that lowly backdrop though, there is a ray of hope that Craig Irvine’s men do carry against a resurgent Sri Lankan outfit in the throes of ascending a bad past in recent years. The fact that Zimbabwe came tops in defeating Sri Lanka 3-2 when the two countries last met in the Lions own den in 2017 is certainly tall stuff as far as results go. It would be the one buoying factor to a battered and bruised Zimbabweans lying at the bottom of the table ICC ODI team points rankings. It is the more buoying in that Sri Lanka had in its ranks seven experienced campaigners of whom six make up the current squad.
The exception is former captain Angelo Mathews who has since lost his place while the other six are Kusal Mendis, Danushka Gunathilaka and Niroshan Dickwella back from a 1-year ban. The rest are Akila Dananjaya and Dushmantha Chameera. Then Sri Lanka won the first ODI at Galle while Zimbabwe won the secönd game. Of the remaining three played in Hambantota, Zimbabwe won 2 to 1.