Sri Lanka have clearly upper hand when it meet Zimbabwe at Hambantota in the opening match of ICC World Twenty20, 2012 tournament on paper but the things would start unfolding from 19:30 by Indian Standard Time. Only then the paper work would be tested on ground.
The interesting fact about this Hamantota ground is that the surface area is bigger than the MCG but as the ropes make the boundary it may well be adjusted.
The inauguration of the tournament has no big show like fireworks and singing concert but the forty overs is hopefully would be a treat to watch if there is no showers. Temperature is not an issue but humididy up to 80% would certainly test the players particularly the Zimbabweans.
Cricket is becoming shorter and shorter and in this tournament chance for a resurge is also shorter. This means that no team playing against the powerhouse or the minnows can relax. A little lapse can cause a big loss.
Sri Lanka has lost two of their last three games but the teams were not as easy as Zimbabwe looks right now.Zimbabwe seems to be no match to Sri Lanka and as hosts Sri Lanka would be wary of letting any chance for Zimbabwe.
Sri Lanka is expected to start with two Dishansas, one before and the other after. Dishan Munaweera is all set to open with Tilakratne Dishan. Then there is Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara. So the Zimbabwe bowlers would not find easy to stop the run race. Even if they succeed to clear these hurdles they would face Lahiru Thirimanne and the inform all rounder Angelo Mathews.
Sri Lanka skipper Mahela Jayawardene expects that the match would be a high scoring one but it depends if Sri Lanka bats first. Otherwise Jayawardene would love to keep the Zimbabweans restricted to a low score.
One the other hand Zimbabwe captain Brendan Taylor says that they have some good strikers at the top and expect them to score quickly and thickly. Taylor is hoping that if his boys perform to their potential it may be tough for Sri Lanka.
Zimbabwe’s coach Alan Butcher is just taking this game as a big opportunity to spring a surprise. But most importantly Butcher’s boys would be seen if they are really able to play serious cricket as controversy after controversy has damaged their image as a team.