Pallekele: Facts and figures relating to the Group A World Cup Match between Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe (0900 GMT) at Pallekele International Cricket Stadium, Kandy on Thursday.
It's all because of emigration!
Sri Lanka lead 38-7 (NR: 1)
In the World Cups, Sri Lanka lead 4-0
In the sub-continent, Sri Lanka lead 11-0
* Zimbabwe have not beaten Sri Lanka ever in the sub-continent or in the World Cups, and in the past 17 ODIs between these two nations, they have managed to win only once (in 2010 at Harare) against a much weakened Sri Lankan side when Brendan Taylor led with an unbeaten 119 to chase down 236 runs.
* However, Sri Lanka have always had to produce something special to get past their African counterparts in each of their World Cup outings. In 1992 Arjuna Ranatunga played a special knock to chase down the highest total (312) so far (until Ireland eclipsed it last week); 1996 was Aravinda De Silva's year; in 1999, Romesh Kaluwitharana and Chaminda Vaas got together to see their team through and 2003 saw a classy century from Marvan Attapattu to get past Zimbabwe.
* Sri Lanka (WLWWW), despite their close defeat to Pakistan and a washed-out match against Australia, are looking good. Kumar Sangakkara (241 runs) is third on the list of highest run getters and has looked in classy touch, and Tillakaratne Dilshan (139 runs) and Mahela Jayawardene (125 runs) have looked like getting big scores.
Logically, they just shouldn't have won...
* Zimbabwe (LWLLL), on the other hand, have been struggling although they looked good against Canada and started brightly against Australia. Tatendu Taibu (113 runs overall) and Craig Ervine (96 runs) have at least got one decent innings of 98 and 85 respectively under their belt.
* While Lasith Malinga dismantled Kenya with 6-38 (including a hat-trick), other bowlers, too, like Thisara Perera (five), Muttiah Muralitharan and Nuwan Kulasekara (four apiece) have been among the wickets. For Zimbabwe, Ray Price (with four wickets) has looked threatening but has not had much support from the other end.