Our prediction is New Zealand will win this match!
Hello Everyone! New Zealand team takes on Sri Lanka to start their campaign in the 2019 World Cup. Kiwis have a very experienced batting line-up with the likes of Martin Guptill, Colin Munro, Kane Williamson, Henry Nicholls, and ever reliable Ross Taylor. Newbie Tom Blundell is expected to debut in the first match due to the absence of injured Keeper Tom Latham. New Zealand batting is heavily depended on the skipper Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor.
They have a wide variety of options in their bowling department with many pacers and spinners. Trent Boult leads the bowling attack and is in sublime form recently. Tim Southee, Lockie Ferguson, and all-rounder James Neesham are expected to share the pace bowling duties in the starting XI. Ish Sodhi will be the lone spinner in the team and has a huge responsibility to bowl in the middle overs.
The Sri Lankan team is not having a good time in the ODI format and they will be expecting a turnaround in their fortunes. Dimuth Karunaratne took over the captaincy for the 2019 World Cup and will be keen to motivate his team to perform to their potentials. Angelo Mathews, Lahiru Thirumanne, Kusal Mendis and Kusal Perera will form the core of middle order batting.
They need to stand up and play a huge innings to help their team post a good total in flat English tracks. Lasith Malinga will lead the bowling attack and he has vast experience representing Sri Lanka in three World Cups already(2007, 2011 & 2015). Pacers Suranga Lakmal and Nuwan Pradeep will form new ball bowling pair for Sri Lanka. Thisara Perera will be the No.1 all-rounder in the team and he is well known for his big hitting abilities. Sri Lanka`s spin department looks weak with inexperienced bowlers Jeevan Mendis and Jeffrey Vandersay.
Kane Williamson – Williamson had a good time in the middle during practice matches with scores of 67 & 85 respectively. New Zealand `s success will hugely depend on Williamson`s form with the bat and his captaincy skills.
Trent Boult – Boult is one of best swing bowlers in the world and he has taken a flurry of wickets in the recent matches. The overcast English conditions will make him lethal with the new ball and he can provide wickets very early in the match.
Recent Stats (Practice matches)
Kane Williamson - 152 runs, Avg. -76, Strike rate – 100, HS -85, 50s -2
Trent Boult – 8 wickets, Economy – 5.3 RPO, BB -4/33
Kane Williamson(C), Martin Guptill, Colin Munro, Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, Tom Blundell (Wk), James Neesham, Lockie Ferguson, Tim Southee, Trent Boult, Ish Sodhi
Trent Boult, Tom Latham, Colin Munro, Matt Henry, Mitchell Santner, Colin de Grandhomme, Martin Guptill, KS Williamson, Lockie Ferguson, Ross Taylor, James Neesham
Angela Mathews – Angelo Mathews in the most experienced player in the Sri Lankan team and he needs to perform with the bat and lead the youngsters around him. Mathews is a very classy batsman who can play all the cricketing shots.
Suranga Lakmal – Lakmal is one of the most improved bowlers for Sri Lanka in recent years. He can take wickets early in the match with his ability to swing the ball both ways and also bowls in good speeds touching 140 kmph.
Recent Stats (Practice matches)
Dimuth Karunaratne - 102 runs, Avg. -51, Strike rate – 80, HS -87, 50s -1
Nuwan Pradeep – 3 wickets, Economy – 7 RPO, BB – 2/77
Dimuth Karunaratne(C), Kusal Perera, Kusal Mendis(Wk), Thisara Perera, Angelo Mathews, Jeevan Mendis, Lahiru Thirumanne, Isuru Udana, Suranga Lakmal, Lasith Malinga, Nuwan Pradeep
Thisara Perera, Angelo Mathews, Kusal Perera, Dhananjaya de Silva, Jeevan Mendis, Kusal Mendis , Dimuth Karunaratne, Isuru Udana, Suranga Lakmal, Lahiru Thirimanne, Lasith Malinga
Cardiff is a batting paradise where batsmen will enjoy scoring runs at a quick rate. Teams scored over 340 runs in the practice matches played here. We expect scores of around 300-330 runs here. The match day promises to be cloudy but has only 10% chances of rain.
The pitch seemed to slow down in the second innings in both the practice matches played here. Teams will enjoy good batting condition during the first innings of the match. Both captains will look to take advantage of favorable conditions.
New Zealand team has better playing XI, form and momentum leading to the tournament than the Sri Lankan team. Sri Lanka has experienced players in their line-up and if they can step up, this match will be an exciting contest. We predict the Kiwis to win the opening encounter!
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