Sri Lanka will by eyeing the chance to seal direct qualification for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 in an upcoming five-match home series against India which commences in Dambulla on Sunday.
The 1996 World champions will have to win at least two matches to secure a place in the pinnacle 50-over competition by staving off the challenge from the West Indies.
The cut-off date for direct qualification is 30 September.
Sri Lanka are currently placed eighth with 88 points, 10 points more than the West Indies, who have an unenviable task in their aim of being among the seven top-ranked sides apart from host England to gain direct qualification.
The bottom four sides on the ICC ODI Team Rankings will need to play a Qualifying event also featuring the top four sides from the ICC World Cricket League Championship and top two sides from the ICC World Cricket League. The top two teams from this event will get to play in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019.
Winning two matches will take Sri Lanka to 90 points while the Windies side will at best reach 88 points even if they win their one-off ODI against Ireland on 13 September as well as all five matches of the series in England from 19-29 September.
However, a 4-1 win for India will see Sri Lanka finish at 88 points and The Windies could edge it on decimal points if they win all of their upcoming six matches. The Windies side will go out of contention if they lose to Ireland as from there they will at best reach 86 points and remain behind Sri Lanka on decimal points, even if Sri Lanka lose 5-0 to India.
As for India, who is in third position with 114 points, only a 4-1 series win will ensure they stay ahead of England.
Even a 3-2 win for India will mean they will slip to 113 points and behind England on decimal points owing to Sri Lanka’s low ranking.
India wins 5-0 – India 117 points; Sri lanka 86 points.
India wins 4-1 – India 115 points, Sri Lanka 88 points.
India wins 3-2 – India 113 points, Sri Lanka 90 points.
Sri Lanka wins 3-2 – India 111 points, Sri Lanka 91 points.
Sri Lanka wins 4-1 – India 109 points, Sri Lanka 93 points.
Sri Lanka wins 5-0 – India 106 points, Sri Lanka 94 points.