New Zealand: WNLWL
Sri Lanka: LWLLL
(Latest first) (N- No result)
Our prediction is New Zealand will win the series 2-0!
New Zealand has started the series with a victory in the first match. Martin Guptill scored a scintillating century in his comeback match after injury and moved up the ladder is all-time run scorers list for the Kiwis in the ODI format. Skipper Williamson and Ross Taylor notched up fifties and provided the partnership in the middle. Colin Munro, Henry Nichollas and Tim Seifert did not spent enough time in the middle. James Neesham has been the X-factor for them both with the bat and ball in the first match. Trent Boult, Lockie Ferguson and Ish Sodhi bowled well to restrict the opposition in the previous encounter. Matt Henry was expensive in the first match but he cannot be dropped just after a single poor performance and is expected to retain his place in the eleven. The Kiwis will look to take an undefeatable 2-0 lead in this match.
Sri Lanka team`s struggles seems unending and their captaincy position has been in a musical chair with almost all the senior players holding it in different times across the last two years. Lasith Malinga found it tough to contain the Kiwi batsmen and all of his bowlers were taken to cleaners. To add insult, Sri Lankan team has been fined for slow over rate in the first match. Nuwan Pradeep, Skipper Malinga and Thisara Perera were cocceding runs at nearly 8 RPO. Spinners Lakshan Sandakan and Seekuge Prasanna faired better by conceding a little over 6 RPO. Their batting was the only positive for the Sri Lanka in the first match. Kusal Perera`s counter attacking century and Aggressive start by Dickwella kept the Lanka`s hopes alive for a small period of time. They would need their other batsmen to step up in such a high scoring contest. Chandimal, Gunaratne and Perera need to bat positively and score some quick runs in the middle order.
Martin Guptill – Guptill signaled his comeback with a rollicking century and would like to continue his form to the build up the world cup.
James Neesham – Neeshan played a crucial knock by hitting 5 sixes of one over and provided the perfect finishing with the bat and was the pick of the bowlers in first match.
Lockie Ferguson – Ferguson`s raw pace might trouble the batsmen in the pitch that does not have anything for the bowlers.
Stats from the first match:
Martin Guptill - 138(139) Strike rate -99, 4s-11, 6s-5
James Neesham – 47*(13) Strike rate -362, 6s- 6 & bowling figures of 8-0-38-3
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.
No changes are expected in the New Zealand playing XI. They don’t want to change their winning combination.
Kusal Perera – Perera played a superb attacking century and held his team`s chances of winning. He will look to go one notch higher to help his team win in the next match.
Niroshan Dickwella – Dickwella provided the perfect start by hitting 76 runs at a strike rate over 150. Dickwella has the ability to turn the game in a matter of minutes.
Lasith Malinga – Added with the captaincy role, Malinga has been found wanting with the spell of 10-0-78-2. He should look to improve both his bowling and captaincy in the next match.
Stats from the first match:
Kusal Perera - 102(86) Strike rate 119, 4s-13, 6s- 1
Seekuge Prasanna - bowling figures of 10-0-60-0 & 16(14) 6s - 1
Lasith Malinga(C), Danushka Gunathilaka, Kusal Mendis, Kusal Perera, Niroshan Dickwella(Wk), Asela Gunaratne, Dinesh Chandimal, Seekuge Prasanna, Thisara Perera, Dushmantha Chameera/ Nuwan Pradeep, Lakshan Sandakan.
Nuwan Pradeep may miss out the place in playing XI to Chameera. And no other changes are expected in the playing XI.
Both the teams would know the conditions at the Bay Oval after the first match. Bay Oval ids batting pitch with fast outfield and smaller boundaries. Scores in excess of 350 will be scored easily. The pitch is expected to stay the same throughout the match. New Zealand has won both the matches played here against Sri Lanka previously. No rain is expected as per the weather forecast.
Both the teams will look to bat first and score a mammoth total and pressurize the opposition at the Bay oval. Chasing under lights becomes bit tougher and batsmen may falter under pressure.
New Zealand look to seal the series at Bay Oval! Sri Lankan team's has been providing some brilliant individual performances recently and they lack as a team on the whole. On the other hand Kiwis look formidable and strong unit. Sri Lanka needs a miracle to stop the Kiwis in this match.
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