India, Sri Lanka enter tri-nations fray

KINGSTON, July 1, 2013 (AFP) – India and Sri Lanka go in search of their first points of the Tri-Nation Series when they meet on Tuesday at Sabina Park as the preliminary phase of the competition reaches the halfway point. With the West Indies completing contrasting victories over the other two teams and already on their way to Trinidad and Tobago, where the last three group matches and the final will be played from Friday, this duel of sub-continental neighbours almost has the feel of an eliminator.

While defeat for either side will not rule them out completely from making the final on July 11 at Queen’s Park Oval, it will leave them having to win their two remaining matches in Port of Spain, a venue where the weather is notoriously fickle at this time of the year.

India should be the more confident of the combatants in the Jamaican capital, although they are likely to be without the services of inspirational leader Mahendra Singh Dhoni, unless he makes a remarkable recovery from what was reportedly diagnosed initially as a right hamstring strain sustained while batting against the West Indies on Sunday.

His calm control of proceedings on the field were missed as much as his wicketkeeping, yet stand-in captai