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Lankans aiming for big victory against Zimbabwe

cricket Updated: Mar 09, 2011 17:23 IST

PTI
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Hosts Sri Lanka will be aiming for a resounding victory against Zimbabwe when the two teams square up in a group league encounter at the Pallekele International Stadium, in Pallekele on Thursday.

Victory by a big margin will help the hosts to improve their group standing in what will be their penultimate group encounter.

The Kumar Sangakkara-led side are currently placed third in the group with five points. Defending champions Australia also have five points in their kitty but they are fourth in the standings as Lankans enjoy a better run-rate.

But Australia have played one game less than them and have two games left against minnows Canada and Kenya providing them a chance to boost that net run-rate.

"We've been consistent but still there is room for improvement," Lankan vice-captain Mahela Jayawardene said ahead of the game against Zimbabwe.

"Overall we can be happy. It's such a big and long tournament. It's important that we be consistent and try and get better and better going forward because you get big games and tough games coming in a few weeks. I am quite happy with the way we started the tournament and where we are right now, but there are areas in which we can improve," he added.

Although Sri Lanka will be playing at home, they wouldn't be too familiar with conditions here as they haven't played even a domestic game on this ground under lights.

They employed three spinners in their washed-off game against Australia in Colombo and are likely to change that combination here where the pitch expected to suit the fast bowlers a lot more.

Paceman Dilhara Fernando is expected to play in the game in place of either Rangana Herath or Ajantha Mendis.

Zimbabwe, meanwhile, are fifth in Group 'A' with two points. Their only win came against Canada whom they beat by 175 runs. They lost to Australia by 91 runs and New Zealand by 10 wickets.

There have been four World Cup encounters between Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe and all four have been won by the Sri Lankans.