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Bowling gives Lanka the edge

india Updated: Jun 18, 2009 23:49 IST
Ravi Shastri
Ravi Shastri
Agencies
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West Indian captain Chris Gayle feels teams now fear his side in Twenty20. The belief is not without basis. They have explosive openers and a steady middle-order and the pace attack has variety and purpose.

Interestingly, the same applies to Sri Lanka. They too have flashy openers and the middle-order of Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene is just running into form. The real strength of the Lankans though is the firepower in bowling.

Lasith Malinga is arguably the best fast bowler in T20 cricket. Muttiah Muralitharan and Mendis are again wicket-taking options. The batsmen, who are looking for relief, then play right into the hands of Dilshan and Jayasuriya.

The Sri Lankans have an edge on two counts: One, they are still unbeaten in the tournament. Two, their fielding is infinitely superior to the West Indies, whose best chance would be to restrict them to a low total.

WI can take heart in the form of their middle-order bat Lendl Simmon. Along with Dwayne Bravo, they have two men who are more than one-dimensional. Interestingly, the two semifinalists in the ICC World T20, haven’t won a big trophy for sometime. Now, both seem to have got their act together.