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Sri Lanka vs Nepal – T20 World Cup: Team news, head-to-head, pitch, weather

In Sport, World
June 11, 2024

Who: Sri Lanka vs Nepal
What: ICC T20 World Cup 2024 Group D match
When: Tuesday, June 11, 7:30pm local time (23:30 GMT)
Where: Central Broward Park Stadium, Lauderhill, Florida, United States
How to follow: Al Jazeera’s live text and photo coverage begins at 20:30 GMT

International cricket returns to Florida after nearly a year and the Central Broward Park Stadium in Lauderhill will offer a welcome respite to the teams playing their T20 World Cup group matches in the United States.

The venue, which hosted its first international match in 2010, is expected to offer better batting conditions than its New York counterpart, where all conversations have centred around the tricky pitch.

Sri Lanka will be especially pleased to be back at the ground where they have played before, albeit many years ago, offering them an advantage over their opponents Nepal.

The Sri Lankan batting lineup has been the team’s weak link and with their chances of survival dependent on this game, the 2014 champions will hope the change in venue will change their fortunes as well.

However, Sri Lanka’s bowling coach Aqib Javed believes his side’s strong bowling can win the game for them against Nepal.

“[We have] got the best leg-spinner in the world, a mystery bowler and slingers, who are very unique and effective in T20 cricket,” Javed said ahead of the match.

Javed, a former Pakistan pace bowler, heaped praise on right-arm pacer Nuwan Thushara for his four-wicket spell in Sri Lanka’s last match against Bangladesh.

“When you have a small total, then somebody has to come up and bring something like what Nuwan brought the other day,” he said.

“Sri Lankan bowling attacks are known because of their natural talent and the ability to do what other teams can’t.”

The island nation have enjoyed plenty of support during their matches in the US, but their opponents have received equally passionate backing from their fans as well.

Javed, who has formerly coached the United Arab Emirates, said he was taken aback by the passion for cricket in Nepal.

“The first time I went to Nepal, I was surprised. We went to the stadium and it was packed and there were a few thousand [fans] outside the ground.

Once you have passion, then you are not far away from the glory. It’s good to see Nepal qualifying for the T20 World Cup.”

nepal fans
Fans at the Netherlands vs Nepal match at the Grand Prairie Cricket Stadium in Texas [Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP]

‘We believe we are going to win’

Nepal captain Rohit Paudel believes a win against Sri Lanka would be a “great gift” from the team to its supporters, who came out in their thousands to support the team in their first match against the Netherlands.

“It will be a motivation for all of us to express ourselves and grab that first win,” Paudel said in his pre-match news conference

“It’s a privilege for us [to have such support] and we want to play our best cricket and make them proud and happy.”

Sri Lanka find themselves in a do-or-die situation and Nepal’s 21-year-old skipper said his side will look to make use of Sri Lanka’s predicament.

“Sri Lanka is under more pressure than us.

“[ICC] associate teams are beating Test-playing countries [in this World Cup], which serves as a motivation for us, especially moving forward to tomorrow’s game.

“We believe that we are going to win tomorrow.”

Pitch and weather conditions

The pitch will come into play for the first time in the tournament. While it has produced par scores in the past, a run of showers and thunderstorms could make it a more even contest between bat and ball.

The weather forecast for the game does not look encouraging, with chances of rain and thunderstorms causing a delay in proceedings.

Head-to-head

The teams have never faced each other in any format of the game.

Form guide

Sri Lanka have had a poor start to the tournament and while they came close to beating Bangladesh in their last match, they have three losses against their name in the last five T20 matches.

Nepal, too, do not have their form backing them but could rely on their supporters and good bowling to get their first win.

Sri Lanka: L L W L W
Nepal: L L L W W

Sri Lanka team news

Pitch and weather conditions could force Sri Lanka to play an extra seamer in place of one of their spin-bowling all-rounders.

Squad: Wanindu Hasaranga (captain), Charith Asalanka, Kusal Mendis, Pathum Nissanka, Kamindu Mendis, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Angelo Mathews, Dasun Shanaka, Dhananjaya de Silva, Maheesh Theekshana, Dunith Wellalage, Dushmantha Chameera, Nuwan Thushara, Matheesha Pathirana, Dilshan Madushanka.

Nepal team news

Despite Sandeep Lamichhane’s late addition to the squad, Nepal will not be able to select their star leg-spinner as he is in the West Indies and will link up with the squad when they play their last two group games in Saint Vincent.

Squad: Rohit Paudel (captain), Aasif Sheikh, Dipendra Singh Airee, Kushal Bhurtel, Sundeep Jora, Karan KC, Kushal Malla, Pratis GC, Sompal Kami, Anil Sah, Abinash Bohara, Gulsan Jha, Lalit Rajbanshi, Kamal Airee, Sagar Dhakal.

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