Sri Lanka vs New Zealand, 1st T20 Match Prediction2019-09-02
R.Premadasa Stadium, Colombo, Sri Lanka
?New Zealand is ranked 6th in the ICC T20 ranking whereas Sri Lanka is at No.8 position
?Colin Munro of New Zealand is one of the only 3 players to score 3 international T20 hundred.
?New Zealand appears to be a lot more settled side and has experienced players in key positions.
NCRICBETTINGBUZZ PREDICTION: New Zealand to win the match!
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After a hard-fought test series, Sri Lanka and New Zealand will begin their preparation for the T20 World Cup next year starting from this three-match series. Both teams have experienced fast bowlers at the helm with Lasith Malinga back to lead the young Sri Lankan side while Tim Southee will take over the captaincy reigns from the rested Kane Williamson. Both sides have an array of fresh faces who will be looking to impress and cement their places by the time the world cup comes calling.
New Zealand has a strong team despite the absence of Kane Williamson. The likes of Martin Guptill, Colin Munro, Ross Taylor, Ish Sodhi and Lockie Ferguson form the core of a powerful T20 side capable of excelling in any condition. Sri Lanka will be hoping their young and talented batsmen convert starts to big scores to allow experienced bowlers like Lasith Malinga and Isuru Udana to work their magic.
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The exciting Sri Lankan squad is led by the veteran Lasith Malinga who will have his last shot at a world title next year in Australia. He leads a team that has a set of highly talented but inconsistent batsmen. The bowling is a lot more experienced and settled with the likes of Malinga himself and Udana in the fast bowling ranks. The spin attack will comprise of off-spinner Akila Dananjaya and left-arm wrist spinner Lakshan Sandakan.
Avishka Fernando: The opening batsmen who played a couple of sparkling innings at the world cup will be looking forward to continuing his good touch. Sri Lanka will need a solid start from him as very often they have lost wickets early in the power play and have had to play catch up. The right-hander who has all the shots in the book will look to take advantage of the Boult less New Zealand bowling and cement his place at the top of the order in the T20 squad.
Lasith Malinga: The veteran seamer has led the Sri Lankan bowling attack for more than a decade now and will be looking forward to captaining this young bunch of exciting cricketers. Now retired from other formats of the game, the experienced customer will be looking to build a strong core of players before the world cup next year. His bowling might have lost a bit of pace, but he still possesses one of the most dangerous slower balls in the game. That coupled with his highly accurate yorkers will make him a tricky bowler to get away in the last few overs.
Kusal Perera, Avishka Fernando, Niroshan Dickwella(w), Kusal Mendis, Shehan Jayasuriya, Danushka Gunathilaka, Dasun Shanaka, Isuru Udana, Akila Dananjaya, Lakshan Sandakan, Lasith Malinga (c)
New Zealand will be missing their influential captain Kane Williamson for this leg of the series. The experienced fast bowler Tim Southee will lead in his absence, a team which is a healthy mixture of experienced campaigners and exciting youngsters. The team management will be looking to experiment with different combinations before the world cup in Australia next year.
Colin Munro: The explosive left-hander who had a torrid time at the Cricket World Cup in England returns to his favored format. He is one of the only 3 batsmen to have scored 3 or more T20 international centuries. With a strike rate of over 160, he will look to take maximum advantage of the field restrictions and provide a quick start to his team. Along with Martin Guptil, he is part of one of the most fearsome openers at present and both will be looking to get a big partnership going at the top of the order.
Lockie Ferguson: In the absence of the experienced Trent Boult, Lockie Ferguson must take up the fast bowling leadership responsibilities along with Tim Southee. Ferguson, who had a memorable 50 over world cup, will be looking to bring the same intensity to this competition. He will intimidate the batsmen with his pace and bounce in the early and middle overs before going to his Yorkers and variations at the death. The team will be expecting him to take crucial wickets and restrict the opposition batting.
Martin Guptill, Colin Munro, Tim Seifert(w), Tom Bruce, Ross Taylor, Colin de Grandhomme, Scott Kuggeleijn, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee(c), Ish Sodhi, Lockie Ferguson
The Pallekele wicket for the T20’s is generally a batting-friendly wicket. The last T20 international match at this ground had more than 450 runs and we can expect the same for this game. Batsmen should be able to play through the line and the bowlers will have to be very disciplined to restrict the batsmen from amassing high scores. There is a prediction of rain on Saturday, but the weather should clear out by evening and we should have a complete game without interruptions.
The Pallekele International Cricket Stadium is hosting a T20 international game after almost 3 years. The venue is known to assist the batsmen with big scores being amassed on this ground. There should be more of the same as two strong batting lineups go against each other. The ground staff will be hoping that the threat of rain passes away and the match goes ahead without any breaks.
The toss looks to play an important factor in games at this venue. Of the last 5 completed games, teams batting first have won 4 times. So, the captain winning the toss will be looking to bat first and make the most of the batting conditions available. The pitch tends to slow down in the second innings and so it might be slightly hard to get the slow bowlers away.
Both teams come into this series with an eye on the T20 world cup in Australia. The squads have plenty of new faces looking to cement a place for that tournament. The array of exciting batsmen on both sides should ensure we have an entertaining contest. The New Zealand team looks a lot more balanced and settled going into the contest while Sri Lanka will be looking to find a settled squad.
The experience of the New Zealand team in these conditions will make them a slight favorite going into the first of the 3 T20 internationals.
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