CLT20 bite-size preview: Southern Express

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Outright victors in a depleted Sri Lanka Premier League that only featured four teams and eight matches, Southern Express' berth at this tournament can be justifiably questioned.

<b>Brief Overview:</b> Outright victors in a depleted Sri Lanka Premier League that only featured four teams and eight matches, Southern Express' berth at this tournament can be justifiably questioned. Regardless, they're a far stronger option than the Western Troopers, Udarata Rulers, Yaal Blazers.

<b>Key Strength:</b> Sri Lanka are the reigning World Twenty20 champions for good reason. The country is a fertile breeding ground for burgeoning talent, arguably more intent on fashioning lucrative limited-overs careers than patient Test match aggregates. Individuals within the Southern Express collective are no exception.

<b>Probable Weakness:</b> There is a lot to be said about temperament across the shortest form of the game and, while Sri Lankan youngsters sport plenty of quickfire determination and eagerness to go big, tempering and patience must find a balance.

<b>Batsman To Watch:</b> The big-hitting Jehan Mubarak wasn't afforded the time to record the fastest half-century in Twenty20 International cricket, but cranked a blitzkrieg 46 not out off just 13 deliveries on debut in 2007. That innate ability to find the fence remains several years later.

<b>Bowler To Watch:</b> All-rounder Farveez Maharoof has lost the gloss that once demanded a regular position in the Sri Lankan squad. His metronomic seam, however, remains a requirement at state level.

<b>Squad:</b> Kusal Perera, Danushka Gunatilake, Angelo Perera, Jehan Mubarak (captain), Niroshan Dickwella, Dilruwan Perera, Seekuge Prasanna, Ishan Jayaratne, Farveez Maharoof, Kasun Madushanka, Yasoda Lanka, Charith Jayampathi, Sachith Pathirana, Sandaken Lakshen, TM Sampath.

<b>Toughest Fixture:</b> A taxing sub-continental derby, of sorts, awaits against the Lahore Lions at the Shaheed Veer Narayan Singh International Stadium in Raipur on 16 September.

<b>They Said:</b> "Like previous seasons, players who have been named by more than one team have been asked to nominate which side they are going to represent." – former CLT20 governing council member Dean Kino, after Lasith Malinga opted for the Mumbai Indians ahead of Southern Express.

<b>Cricket365's Prediction:</b> Won't qualify for tournament proper.

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