To get West Indies batting juggernaut Chrys Gayle early would be the orders that captain Kumar Sangakkara would have given his troops when they play the cricketers from the Caribbean in a Group C match here today.
Both West Indies and Sri Lanka have entered the Super Eight and the teams would now be wanting to win to go top of the group. Also they would want to remain unbeaten and gain the psychological advantage.
The Lankans must not be complacent after their convincing win over the Aussies. Their plans worked to a nicety and everything went the way the Lankans wished.
Sangakkara had a good match as captain. He made some excellent field placing and his bowling changes were well thought out. He succeeded with every ploy and will be hoping that the luck will stay with him throughout the Twenty20.
In any form of the game to defeat Australia is a great achievement. Did not the Lankan cricketers, their fans and crowd jubilate when victory was achieved. The crowd too was behind the Sri Lankan cricketers.
The Lion Flag waving Sri Lankan supporters were singing themselves hoarse with popular Sinhala perennial and some of the Aussies too were joining in the singing and dancing and it took me a long time to get back to my hotel.
Although Lasith Malinga also got three wickets, the chief wrecker of the Aussie innings was mystery man Ajantha Mendis. His repertoire of deliveries were spot on and no opposing batsmen could read or pick him. He looks to have regained his old form.
Although going for a lot of runs, left arm medium pacer Isuru Udana had a good debut. Being his first big game it was obvious that he was a bit nervous. But he will come right if persisted with.
His left handed diving catch off Michael Clarke will always be etched in his memory and it was his maiden wicket in the big league.
The West Indies have not much bowling, but their batting is their forte. Gayle will attempt his stand and deliver bang, bang slog shots. But if the Lankan bowlers could think him out early, the other batsmen in Andre Fletcher, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Chanderpaul and Dwaynne Bravo cannot be that demoralizing. A victory here would certainly give the Lankans the motivation and the confidence to face their future opponents and beat them and hopefully progress to the final and win it. To believe in themselves is what the Lankans should do.