New Zealand will win the first match.
New Zealand: NLWLW
Sri Lanka: WLLLN
(Latest first) (N- No result)
Our prediction is New Zealand to win the Match!
Welcome to the match preview of the first ODI match between New Zealand and Sri Lanka! With the 50-over world cup in around six months timeframe, all the teams are looking out to fix their core group of players. Every performance from now on counts and both the teams will look to put their best foot forward. New Zealand has been blowing hot and cold in the ODI format by victories and losses sandwiching in between. However, they have been won 8 consecutive matches in their home soil and are tough to beat at their backyard.
New Zealand batting line up consists of experienced batsmen with the likes of Skipper Kane Williamson, Martin Guptill, Ross Taylor, Colin Munro and Henry Nicholls. Keeper Tim Seifert and All-rounder James Neesham would like prove their worth in the absence of ODI regulars. Pacers Lockie Ferguson, Trent Boult, Tim Southee and Matt Henry will form the strong bowling unit along with spinner Ish Sodhi.
Sri Lanka has been struggling in the ODI format recently and they would hope new captain and New Year would change their fortunes. They need to bring out their best game forward to compete against a strong New Zealand team. Lasith Malinga is an experienced player who has been in and out of the team of late. He has been handed the responsibility to lead the team and bring the best out of their players.
Sri Lankan batting line up consists of exciting players such as Niroshan Dickwella, Kusal Perera, Kusal Mendis, Dananjaya de Silva, Dinesh Chandimal and Sadeera Samarawickwara. All rounders Dasun Shanak, Thisara Perera and Asela Gunaratne play an important role in the middle overs with both the bat and ball. Dushmantha Chameera is expected to partner Skipper Malinga with the new ball. Chinaman bowler Sandakan will weave his magic with his spin bowling.
Kane Williamson – Williamson has been one of consistent performers for New Zealand in all formats of the game. He has been in an excellent form recently.
James Neesham – Neeshan comes in place of Colin de Grandhomme and he will be required to prove with his performances with both bat and ball.
Lockie Ferguson – Ferguson bowls in the pace range in 145-150 kmph and has been troubling the batsmen consistently recently. He has been a find for the New Zealand team.
Tim Seifert is expected to debut in the absence of Tom Latham. And there could be a tossup between Matt Henry and Tim Southee for a pacers slot. Henry might get a nod owing to Southee`s recent poor showing.
Stats from recent year( jan 2018- dec 2018):
Ross Taylor - 639 runs, Average – 91.28, Strike rate -88.87 (50s -4, 100s -2, HS- 181*)
Trent Boult - 22 wickets, Average – 28.90, Economy -5.92 RPO (BB -5/17)
Kane Williamson (C), Ross Taylor, Martin Guptill, Colin Munro, Henry Nicholls, Tim Seifert (Wk), Trent Boult, Ish Sodhi, James Neesham, Lockie Ferguson, Matt Henry/Tim Southee.
Kusal Mendis – Mendis had an excellent Test series against and hoping to bring the same form to the ODI series and establish himself.
Niroshan Dickwella – The aggressive Wicket keeper batsmen has been one of vital member in the Srilankan ODI team. He is expected to provide explosive start to their innings.
Lasith Malinga – Malinga returns to squad with additional responsibility of leading the side. He needs to spearhead his bowling attack and restrict the opposition with his Slinging Yorkers and Slower ones.
Chandimal might miss his spot to Samarawickrama owing to slow scoring rate.Both the pace all rounders Dasun Shanak and Thisara Perera are expected to slot in.
Stats from recent year( jan 2018- dec 2018):
Niroshan Dickwella - 415 runs, Average – 34.58, Strike rate -85.92 (50s -3, HS- 95)
Thisara Perera - 415 runs, Average – 34.58, Strike rate -115.89 (50s -2, HS- 64) 25 wickets, Average – 20.72, Economy -5.78 RPO (BB -5/55)
Lasith Malinga(C), Dhananjaya de Silva, Kusal Mendis, Kusal Perera, Niroshan Dickwella(Wk), Asela Gunaratne, Sadeera Samarawickrama/Dinesh Chandimal, Dasun Shanaka, Thisara Perera, Dushmantha Chameera, Lakshan Sandakan.
Bay Oval has been traditionally a pitch that helps batsmen and we can expect scores in the range of 250-280 runs. The pitch is expected to stay the same throughout the match. New Zealand has won only one match out of the four ODIs they played here. No rain is expected as per the weather forecast.
Chasing has been the safer option in the pitches offering help to the batsmen. The ball might get tough to grip in the second innings. Both the teams will look to bowl first at the Bay Oval.
New Zealand team has an excellent mix of youth and experience. It is a tough challenge for the inexperienced Sri Lankan team to beat them in their home conditions. Predictions apart, we are expected to have cracking contest. New Zealand will win the first match.
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