New Zealand v Sri Lanka, Champions Trophy, Group A, Cardiff

Ferrer v Murray, in cricket

The Preview by Abhishek Purohit

June 8, 2013

Comments: 85 | Text size: A | A

Match facts

Sunday, June 9, Cardiff
Start time 9.30am GMT


A dejected Mahela Jayawardene with Kumar Sangakkara, Sri Lanka v West Indies, final, World Twenty20, Colombo, October 7, 2012
Time is running out for Sri Lanka's greats to script a happy ending at a world tournament © Getty Images
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Big Picture

New Zealand are the David Ferrer of cricket. They are the good, friendly triers. They try to make up for lesser talent compared to the big boys with honest effort. Of course, plain honest effort does not get you the big titles. But more often than not, it gets you towards the closing stages of the big tournaments: the quarter-finals, the semi-finals, the extremely occasional final. Once there, they are widely expected to make way for the Nadals or the Australias. Both have no qualms about that; they know reaching where they do using what they posses, in relation to what the big boys have, is no mean achievement.

On Sunday, Ferrer, at age 31, will play his maiden Grand Slam final in Paris in a career that has seen about ten Slam campaigns fail at the quarter-final and semi-final hurdles. Across the Channel, New Zealand - admittedly with slightly more experience of making big-tournament finals, courtesy the Champions Trophy - will begin their campaign in the tournament that has given them their lone ICC trophy till date.

Very rarely do you not count a New Zealand side as one of the underdogs, but a team that has beaten South Africa and England on their home soils in one-day series recently has to be treated with some respect. The Champions Trophy might just be to New Zealand's liking. The crunched format means they don't have to sustain their run of form for too long.

And unlike in Ferrer's case, their opponent on Sunday will not be that impenetrable returning wall that goes by the name of Rafael Nadal. It is a side whose lot might be compared with that of Andy Murray before he finally, to Britain's relief, won a Grand Slam.

All the quality of Mahela Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakkara, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Lasith Malinga has not been able to deliver a world title for Sri Lanka in over a decade. More than being told by the outside world that they have it in them, they know they are too good a side to have finished on the wrong end of four successive final appearances in 2007, 2009, 2011 and 2012. In the last one, at the World Twenty20 final at home, they had West Indies 32 for 2 after ten overs and still blew it. Age was on Murray's side; it is not on the side of these four Sri Lankan greats. On Sunday, they will begin one of their last attempts to not go down in history as one of the best collections of men to not have won a world title.

Form guide

New Zealand: LWWLL (completed games, most recent first)
Sri Lanka: LWWLL

Watch out for...

Two new balls? Helpful conditions for the fast bowlers? MS Dhoni defeated South Africa primarily through the stranglehold of his spinners in the opening match of the tournament in Cardiff. New Zealand could possibly face the combination of Sachithra Senanayake, Jeevan Mendis and Dilshan at the same ground. Tackling the lone English spinner in the one-dayers was one thing; even Suresh Raina bowled as many as six overs in Cardiff a couple of days ago. How the New Zealand batsmen go against the Sri Lanka spinners will be crucial to the outcome.

There may not have been too much swing in Cardiff when India played South Africa, but there was lots of bounce, and a couple of India batsmen copped blows to their helmets. While New Zealand may not have someone with extreme pace, they would have had a look at how South Africa overdid the short ball against India, and will come with a better strategy against another side from the subcontinent. How well will the Sri Lanka batsmen deal with the bounce?

Team news

New Zealand are still sweating on the fitness of Daniel Vettori and to add to that, Grant Elliott has a calf injury. Brendon McCullum said he was waiting on both before finalising the team on the morning of the game.

New Zealand (possible) 1 Luke Ronchi (wk), 2 Martin Guptill, 3 Kane Williamson, 4 Ross Taylor, 5 Grant Eliott/Colin Munro, 6 Brendon McCullum (capt), 7 James Franklin, 8 Daniel Vettori/Nathan McCullum, 9 Tim Southee, 10 Kyle Mills, 11 Mitchell McClenaghan

Sri Lanka have not spent much time together as a squad after the IPL, compared to New Zealand who have been in England for over a month. But they do not seem to have as many injury worries, last-minute flare-ups notwithstanding.

Sri Lanka (possible) 1 Tillakaratne Dilshan, 2 Kusal Perera, 3 Mahela Jayawardene, 4 Kumar Sangakkara (wk), 5 Dinesh Chandimal, 6 Angelo Mathews (capt), 7 Thisara Perera, 8 Jeevan Mendis/Dilhara Lokuhettige, 9 Nuwan Kulasekara, 10 Sachithra Senanayake, 11 Lasith Malinga

Pitch and conditions

When AB de Villiers won the toss against India, the skies were heavy enough to make it a straightforward decision to bowl on a cold morning. Soon after India started their innings, the sun came out and Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma prospered. There was little swing, some seam, and bounce was the only testing thing to handle for the batsmen.

Cardiff had terrific, clear weather on the eve of the match, and more of it is expected on Sunday, with a high of 21 degrees.

Stats

  • The last ODI Daniel Vettori played was the 2011 World Cup semi-final against Sri Lanka in Colombo. The last international match he played, in September 2012, was also in Sri Lanka, during the World Twenty20
  • Sri Lanka and New Zealand have met three times in the Champions Trophy. Sri Lanka won in 1998 and 2006, New Zealand in 2009
  • Seven of the eight completed ODIs at Cardiff have been won by the chasing side. Only India have won batting first

Quotes

"I don't know what it is that makes us do well in big tournaments. We give ourselves every chance and we seem to be thereabouts semi-final or finals stage. Whether it's the nature of being able to bounce between different opposition and making sure that we're well prepared, I'm not sure."
Brendon McCullum reflects on New Zealand's record in ICC tournaments

"To me Lasith hasn't put on that much weight. He's very professional the way he goes about things and he knows exactly what to do and how to do it. He's our premier bowler and he tries to give the maximum each time he walks into the middle."
Angelo Mathews feels a heavier-looking Lasith Malinga is still at his best

Abhishek Purohit is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by johnq1 on (June 9, 2013, 9:00 GMT)

Its a tight match on the cards today.. SL are favorites but NZ can definetly win it on their day..

Posted by calcu on (June 9, 2013, 9:00 GMT)

@gnanzcupid You seem to be the only sensible person in the midst of biased sl fans!!

Posted by calcu on (June 9, 2013, 8:40 GMT)

@nilb It certainly is 70-30 towards NZ. NZ have just come from a 2-1 win over ENG while SL has been humiliated by bang in their home. As far IND and SL are concerned, you cant even compare them. IND have defeated SL everywhere. 2011 WC final, 2012 asia cup, 4-1 victory against SL in SL, and even in the warm up match. SL has never won a test match in IND in 17 attempts. And you say IND fans should be modest!!!

Posted by gnanzcupid on (June 9, 2013, 8:25 GMT)

It not true that lanka is in a easy group. The reality is just because lanka is in that group, it has become easy for the other teams in the group.

Posted by   on (June 9, 2013, 8:18 GMT)

I am sure that the over-hyped kusala perera will be exposed today. And I want ICC to ensure that Jayawardene or Sangakkara should not come out for toss/Captaincy later the tournament because Angelo Matthews is carrying a slow over ban. Srilankans are getting master in Cricket rules and laws. They just find the loopholes of cricket rules and overcoming It.

Posted by   on (June 9, 2013, 8:13 GMT)

@Mihil Ranathunga, Lol at your Cricketing Knowledge. Anyone who follows cricket atleast for 2 years would easily admit that Group A which has Aus,Eng,SL,NZ is by far the easiest group.Now where does the word "incompetence" came from. I guess you are closely watching every match between Ind and SL,The so called "Incompetence" was with every srilankan cricketers.

Posted by matchfixerpkn on (June 9, 2013, 8:11 GMT)

Shan TK ..come on..how many years you will chant that jayasuriya story..its boring...he was one slogger...every team produced 10s of jay suriyas...but non other team remember all that sloggers ..... if so..now newzealand also say ..how srilankan batsman was struggling against hadlee or how martin crow toyed srilankan bowlers etc etc ..

Posted by gnanzcupid on (June 9, 2013, 8:09 GMT)

Everyone should understand one basic fact. Its not true that lankans are place in the easiest group A. The fact is that group A became easy because a poor side like lanka is in it.

Posted by suresh_gym on (June 9, 2013, 8:09 GMT)

@Mihil Ranathunga, OK...You are in easy group, win the CL cup and do the talk!! Plain and simple Isn't it?

Posted by   on (June 9, 2013, 8:08 GMT)

Its amazing top 4 contenders(Ind. Wi, PAk, SA) are in one group and the next bottom 4 (Eng, Sri,Nzl,AUS) in other group.

Posted by Kohli--The_Messi_of_Cricket on (June 9, 2013, 8:07 GMT)

After losing this game, Lankan fans will give excuses such as "Our team took the game lightly as they are still warming up", "NZ batsmen should have retired after reaching half-centuries", "Jayasuriya and De Silva would have smashed these mediocre bowlers" etc. In my opinion, the third excuse is the best.

Posted by   on (June 9, 2013, 8:00 GMT)

My prediction : winner will be from group a - either India or WI. Aus are no team, SriLanka do not have that X factor to win the tournament, Eng will be english of course but oops forgot half the team was imported. Anyways they never look like winning an ODI tournament. Might make it to finals may be. NZL may surprise but needs their bowling to really pull their socks up. Looking difficult for Pak since they seriously need to revamp their batting. Saffers lost it the moment they lost Steyn and kallis . WI looks pretty well balanced side. Good pace attack, + depth in batting + Narine factor. Pak: Crazy bowling but useless batting. India : hell of a batting line up - the best with a great fielding side and supported with a balanced bowling attack.

Posted by   on (June 9, 2013, 8:00 GMT)

I think better to keep the patients till end of the game rather than useless comments by some here...Sri Lanka with a population of 20 million has done wonders in world cricket bagging the quite a number of world records in cricket history...better do not compare India Vs Sri Lanka when the match is between NZ Vs SL...today India is slightly ahead of Sri Lanka though hope Indian fans can not forget about how Sanath was destroying Indian bowlers more than over a decade...the best hunting team for Sanath and Aravinda was India..anyways now it is history....Dhoni's wins over last 6-7 years also now in history...lets see what will happen in the future....

Posted by   on (June 9, 2013, 7:48 GMT)

2011 world cup is between politics

in 2 overs 2 wickets has gone its for malinga .why sanga didnt continue with him only 3 overs given to him just imagine , what sanga told in lords, and the government want the explanation what he has said pls pls in the sake of country dont bring the sport inn if we won the world cup the proud is to our country

2011 world cup is nothing for srilanka ,

you can see in the mini world cup how far sl will go

go sl go

Posted by ThilankaK on (June 9, 2013, 7:42 GMT)

1.Kusal 2.Dilshan 3.Sanga 4.Mahela 5.Chandi 6.Jeevan 7.Thisara 8.Eranga 9.Herath 10.Senanayake 11.Malinga

5 World Class Batsmen (Including Best of the Best Sangakkara-ICC Cricketer of the Year) 2 World Class All rounders ( Thisara Perera is the No 1 All rounder in ODI) 4 world Class Bowlers ( Malinga is the No1 in ODI & T20)

Posted by   on (June 9, 2013, 7:38 GMT)

@Prem-I predicted that you would say this. The group India is in becomes tough not because of others, your own incompetence. Some said we are in a tough group before Australia lost so heavily. Fact of the matter is we will be always be in an easier group, because we overcome our adversary easy.

Posted by   on (June 9, 2013, 7:29 GMT)

@Romenevans... how can you say that NZ is mediocre? Two of those four teams you listed that the Champions Trophy 'should be played between'' were beaten in ODI series on their own soil by NZ, South Africa and England. So if is NZ is mediocre, what does that make the likes of SA and England, who lost, and quite convincingly, to this NZ team?

Posted by   on (June 9, 2013, 7:17 GMT)

Dont know how Srilanka is always placed in easier group. Had SL been in the Group B, They would be treated as punching bags for the rest of the teams. Just know realized that Even in 2011 ODI WC, They dint beat a singleODI champion side. All they won is against low profiled teams considerably. As an Indianfan, I just want Srilanka to qualify for next round to make India's entry to Finals a bit easier.

Posted by StevieS on (June 9, 2013, 7:13 GMT)

Romenevans did you just pick 4 random teams for your troll? England and West Indies LMAO.

Posted by UsmanTeam on (June 9, 2013, 7:12 GMT)

@Romenevans: Really? Please tell me more about the team which has the best bowling attack in this tournament!!

Posted by matchfixerpkn on (June 9, 2013, 7:09 GMT)

after the match ..the srilankan fans will again come with some excuses..if Taylor was not batted at no. 2 or if the match is played in Colombo or if jiayasuriya playing in 19900s etc etc..

Posted by andrew27994 on (June 9, 2013, 6:59 GMT)

One of the major reasons SL is such a formidable side is mainly because of their fielding and spin bowling. In this tournament, the latter may not have much of an impact as the former. So SL need to be at their best in the fielding department if they have to turn the odds in their favour. Their batting will be a bit of a concern but key players like Sangakkara are showing signs of some form.

In NZ's case, their major batsmen have clicked this year so they have the more lethal batting unit. NZ have a few good bowlers like McClenaghan and Mills but they have a few bowlers who could be picked on like Franklin and Williamson. If Elliot doesn't play then NZ will have less depth in their bowling attack.

Posted by   on (June 9, 2013, 6:44 GMT)

@amila Kasun, I also remember India chasing down 330 against the ordinary SL attack. I remember a couple of other things too, India beating SL in the world cup finals and SL not winning a single test match in India :P

No one rates SL highly at all, they are just a tad better then Bangladesh.

Posted by matchfixerpkn on (June 9, 2013, 6:40 GMT)

if srilankan really looking to competive..they must have to drop sanga, dilshan, perera, mathews, malinga, mendis, thushara, kulasekara and jayavardane...these 9 players are just overrated by srilankan fans and just overrated who are clue less in any condition out side srilankan..their only achievement is against Bangladesh that also inside srilanka...

if srilanka wins today with this team..then it will be a biggest surprise in cricket history..

Posted by thelogicaldude on (June 9, 2013, 6:24 GMT)

Sri Lanka make the "occasional finals"? Abhishek, no disrespect, but they've consistently made it to the finals since 2007 if I remember correctly. Two 50 over world cup finals and two World T20 finals. That's no joke. I'm not even Sri Lankan, but I don't like to see a champion side like SL being put down. You need to get your stats right before making random pronouncements and quoting tennis lingo.

Posted by priceless1 on (June 9, 2013, 5:55 GMT)

@siri12345 i think they should drop Kula ( considering the poor form he's been in lately) too and ask Mathiews to share the new ball with Malinga ,Thisara can come as the first change and there after spin all the way . both Senanayaka and Hearth must play

Posted by   on (June 9, 2013, 5:53 GMT)

With the form NZ is in at the moment i would be suprised if they didn't make the final. If Mcullum/Guptill/Taylor get a start NZ will win this game.

Posted by Breakspear on (June 9, 2013, 5:50 GMT)

If New Zealand are to win today, Williamson and Taylor have to bat well. They are no doubt or best batsmen against spin, which SL are no doubt going to throw at us. The bowlers are our strongest atm (with or without Dan) and they'll have to do well to restrict SL. Hopefully Ronchi can step up today too.

Posted by ThilankaK on (June 9, 2013, 5:48 GMT)

@ Shiras Misbah ; No way mate Thisara Perera is the only bowler recently ball well ! If want to get Eranger WE SHOULD HAVE DROP MATHEWS ! eranger deserve the place of the team & he is in good rhythm & CHANDIMAL'S CAPTAINCY IS BETTER THAN MATHEWS ! you see the highlight of warm up match with IND when kolli fire mathews went off the ground & I saw chandimal put the trap & got kolli out . He is a born leader ! PLEASE DROP MATHEWS !!! he is a passenger !

Posted by BandulaG on (June 9, 2013, 5:45 GMT)

the four big wigs, Dil,Sanga,Mahela & Mali, it is high-time you brought home a trophy worthy of your salt!

Posted by   on (June 9, 2013, 5:00 GMT)

Well it is raining in Paris and I wonder whether Ferrer will have the opportunity to test Nadal's resolve to get his 8th win at Roland Garros today! I assume the weather is more clement across the channel and Sri Lanka will prevail, at least to prevent any blushes emanating from Purohit's analogy!! Taking the argument a little further I wonder whether the result will hinge on taring down as opposed to wearing down the opponent. That kind of result has been lacking in the Champion's Trophy thus far and one way or another a bit of panache from either side will be most welcome...

Posted by imalkait on (June 9, 2013, 4:50 GMT)

@Shiras Misbah... Agree 100%

Posted by   on (June 9, 2013, 4:31 GMT)

This is the same ground- good center pitch where more than 600 runs were scored on Thursday in a match between India and South Africa. Key would be seeing off the new ball and not loosing wickets in the first 8 overs whoever bats first. Spinners or slow bowlers may play an important role in the second half. High scoring or not- I hope to see a competitive match here at SWALEC stadium.

Posted by razercat on (June 9, 2013, 4:17 GMT)

Even though i'm a Srilankan supporter, NZ is a team i highly admire and i always supports them when Sri Lanka is not involved. But a match between these two teams are very gentle and no matter who wins in the end we all will be happy. because unlike some punk team both these teams consists of gentlemen with humanity and qualities we all love.

Posted by   on (June 9, 2013, 3:50 GMT)

this is my team today... kusal,dilshan, mahela, sanga,chandimal,thirimanne,matthews, kulasekara, eranga, malinga, senanayake. i think v should drop t.perera bec v need eranga for his attacking bowling. and must play senanayake as it new zealnd and they r weak against spin. dilshan should bowl too.. i prefer him to open the bowling with kula.

Posted by Master_Mihil on (June 9, 2013, 3:50 GMT)

One thing that will undo all SL efforts will be underestimating NZ. The last time NZ won, they posted a stiff target against SL after we read the pitch wrong. And in the chase Sanath and dilly underestimated Darryl Tuffey which became their undoing. Tried to be over-aggressive from the start. Ranil Abenaike said 'They don't need to do that' calm down. And SL didn't listen.

Posted by siri12345 on (June 9, 2013, 3:45 GMT)

exactly @sinhaya.we have also seen the last game played in sophia garden cardiff how the spinners from both sides were extremely effective.even a part timer like jp duminy just gave 46 runs from 10 overs in a match where 630 runs were scored and the most economical of indian bowlers were jadeja and ashwin again the spinners.so we shouldnot just blindly pick 3 fast bowlers because it is england.we should see the deeper picture i.e the conditions of the ground where match will be played and ability of our fast bowlers. moreover we have perera and angelo whom we can bank upon.so we should play 2 spinners and make dilshan bowl 6 overs sothat half of our bowling should be done by spinners a mistake which devilliers did by not bowling peterson.cricinfo publish.

Posted by kevepere on (June 9, 2013, 3:40 GMT)

1. Kusal 2. Dilshan 3. Sanga 4. Chandimal 5. Mahela 6. Mathews 7. Jeewan 8. Thisara 9. Sachithra 10 N Kule 11. Malinga

Posted by cjchanaka on (June 9, 2013, 3:33 GMT)

SL should play with sachithra & mendis as spinners, dilshan also can be handy specially against spin feared team NZ. Our top order batsmens should play sensibly first few overs without loosing too many wickets and then easily can accelerate the inning, NZ is not a tuff opponent at all in major tournaments for us, so easy victory will be confirmed for SL. All the SL haters plz be aware Lions are on the way............c'mon SRI LANKA.........-:)

Posted by siri12345 on (June 9, 2013, 3:31 GMT)

@priceless1-completely agree with u.nz have played their last 6 months of cricket in sa,nz and eng and they have been facing some quality fast bowlers from these teams in last 6 months.so i dont think eranga or kula can trouble them much.we have to bowl as much as spin as we can.may be even 30 overs of spin if required.@tal botvinnik-mate the team u have recommended i fear we r playing a batsman more inplace of a handy spinner as ur team have 8 players whom we can call batsman excluding kula who can contribute 20-25 handy runs .so i think we somehow have to find a place for sachitra senanayke as he has shown tremendous form in last ipl and kiwis young batsman will struggle to pick him.so i will play sachitra either in place of jeevan mendis or herath(from the 11 u mentioned).i will pick sachitra ahead of herath because herath is becoming predictable in odis.but i will love to have them both.rest of ur team looks good.cricinfo plz plz publish.

Posted by   on (June 9, 2013, 3:22 GMT)

@Indra Prakash I believe you have quoted SL mistakenly where India ought to be. Please get your facts right before you speak. Please check the overseas statistics of the Indian team during the last two years in ODIs vs SL.

Posted by gnanzcupid on (June 9, 2013, 3:11 GMT)

I feel nz is a fast improving side. They will have the psychological advantage of beating the lankan team at lanka and their good show against the poms will do them a world of good will certainly be a morale booster. Comparison is interesting. But are the present lankan side without murali really comparable to murray? Only mahela and sanga should save lanka. I think murray had also won a grandslam last september and some more atps in the last 4 years,dint he? How many odi series' were won by the lankans in the last 4 years. Had this been the last decade it would have been interesting to compare aus(and india of course) to roger and lanka to andy roddick(exclusively due to murali). I don see the lankan team playing finals this year.

Posted by MadhushaDmendis on (June 9, 2013, 2:56 GMT)

It's time to change the destiny ....ICC champions trophy Will give some confident to sl lions .... But middle order batsmans should give some consistent to batting,, and mathews should play a captains inning ....

Posted by siri12345 on (June 9, 2013, 2:40 GMT)

@priceless1- completely agree with u.i dont think nz batsman will have any problems facing the likes of eranga and kula as they have been playing continous cricket in south africa,new zealand and england in last six months and that too against them whose fast bowlers are best in the world.so both senanayke and herath are must in our playing 11 .when needed we can easily switch to matthews and perera for pace bowling and i dont think eranga can do a better job than perera who has considerably improved his bowling last few months. @tal botvinnik - mate the team u mentioned has as many as 8 batsman excluding kula who can also chip in with a handy 20-25 runs when required.so i think we somehow need to find a place for sachitra senanayke who was awesome during the ipl and kiwis young batsman may find it tough to handle him.so we have to either replace him with jeevan mendis or with rangana herath i think.rest of ur team is ok.

Posted by   on (June 9, 2013, 2:13 GMT)

Go New Zealand. Win, Win, Win

Posted by   on (June 9, 2013, 1:54 GMT)

~sigh~

Another article with the same old "workmanlike" descriptors of the NZ team. If they were truly "workmanlike" they wouldn't be ranked 8th despite the clear talent which is there for all to see.

A limited overs batting lineup with Ross Taylor, Kane Williamson, Brendon McCullum, Martin Guptill and some decent lower order sloggers in not lacking in talent nor firepower. Neither is a bowling lineup featuring Tim Southee, McCleneghan and Kyle Mills.

"Workmanlike" teams don't score 360 runs against the host nation. No, it is not talent that is lacking. It is consistency.

In other words, the opposite of what this article is saying.

Posted by TeamSelector on (June 9, 2013, 1:44 GMT)

I only have two words to say about this match ... Martin Guptill ...

Posted by Htc-Android on (June 9, 2013, 1:42 GMT)

New zealand will be tougher side than Australia for sure. They have been playing in England for more than a month and they know the conditions very well. They are in good form too. I agree, we should play with 2 spinners for sure. NZ are horrible side against spin and on the other day India managed to contain the South Africans with spin on the same pitch.

Posted by roversgate on (June 9, 2013, 1:40 GMT)

If ever there was a spinner in the world today that would prosper on this Cardiff pitch, it would be Daniel Vettori. I think Vettori might be more of a threat than Ajmal, Ashwin, Narine and even Swann on this surface because it seems to suit his game with loads of bounce and the occasional turn. Really hope NZ have him fit and make it an interesting match.

Posted by Kim_Prez on (June 9, 2013, 1:31 GMT)

Lots of things coming to happen in this match... We can't predict anything until the last ball bowled... So keep calm and watch the match!

Posted by   on (June 9, 2013, 1:27 GMT)

I'm a little bit confused, Abhishek Purohit your article is not clear and very much confusing. Are we talking about the same Sri Lanka that won a world cup in 96, a semi-finalist in 03, denied but a brutal Gilchrist in 07 and a rampaging Dhoni in 11? I don't want to go in to the many T20 and champions trophy matches of which Sri Lanka is a past joint winner?

I am not too sure how you can compare a grand slam journeyman to a team that has consistently performed and won tournaments. Abhishek Purohit, I am happy for you to correct me with more details.

Posted by Kapil_Choudhary on (June 9, 2013, 1:22 GMT)

Its ironic how things change. There was a time when McCullum was pondering giving up wicketkeeping so as to be able to concentrate on opening the batting. Now, McCullum is back to no. 6 but he is still not the keeper, and the guy who is keeping is ALSO opening the innings.......

Posted by   on (June 8, 2013, 23:52 GMT)

Nope . Sri Lanka have good spinners and good fast bowlers ,New Zealand are fighting team with a strong culture ,both teams even in these English conditions ,wont know the difference between these sides until match day .

Posted by   on (June 8, 2013, 23:07 GMT)

New Zealand is the obvious favourite here. They just thrashed England in England, they have the fair understanding of weather and pitches. Most importantly the SL team looks out of sorts, I will be very surprised if SL wins atleast one match. This time SL doesnt need to worry about the Bride's maid tag as its unlikely that they reach semis

Posted by   on (June 8, 2013, 22:48 GMT)

To Pundits who say SL batsmen cannot handle swing and bounce , Dilshan scored 190 at lords and Chandimal scored a hundred at lords too.Overall we did well in England in 2011 better than Kiwis.

Posted by shakersid on (June 8, 2013, 22:39 GMT)

vert apt analogy.....lets just hope ferrer pulls it off tomorrow....both, in cricket and tennis.

Posted by Harmony111 on (June 8, 2013, 22:30 GMT)

SL's big players such as Dilshan, KS & Jaya have been off-colour for some time or at least the perception is so but they can get back in shape any day any time. If that happens then SL will have a very good chance of winning. SL's bets tactic to win would be to bat first, get a good total of around 270-280 and then defend it with accurate bowling & sharp fielding. I do not think SL have the req quality or the calmness to chase a total at the moment.

From NZ's PoV, they have to keep doing what they did against Eng. They too lack quality in their batting and so for them too the best tactic is to bat first and defend it. I'd say NS have a slight adv in batting depth but SL have the clear adv in batting quality.

It is striking that both the teams have similar strengths & weaknesses. The team that manages this set better will win (unless D/L Method comes in).

Cos NZ have been in Eng far longer than SL & did well recently, I'd say they have a 60-40 advantage.

Posted by Herath-UK on (June 8, 2013, 22:03 GMT)

Will the ICC put its house in order and play the respective songs respecting the pride of all the nations. The blunder at the captains' presentations is not fitting for such a world organization. Ranil Herath - Kent

Posted by StevieS on (June 8, 2013, 21:31 GMT)

On paper New Zealand batsman are a class above, if they can handle the spinners it should be a walk in the park.

Posted by   on (June 8, 2013, 21:21 GMT)

"2 weakest teams" well said thompson

Posted by   on (June 8, 2013, 20:47 GMT)

Nice article, sensible comparison. I think SL has got an edge over NZ because of their spinners. England and Srilanka are my bet in this group for the semis.

Posted by SaadRocx on (June 8, 2013, 20:47 GMT)

Good Luck to SriLanka frm pak.

Posted by 2.14istherunrate on (June 8, 2013, 20:24 GMT)

SL have plenty of batsmen of serious renown. They have Lasith Malinga,but no Herath.They will have to bat big,because their attack in preview seems like a big nonentity with 10 overs only for Lasith. I'd expect the battle hardened Kiwis to this.

Posted by   on (June 8, 2013, 20:11 GMT)

Sri Lanka probably the better team in tomorrow's game so the chances of them winning is more.

Posted by Subodha_Charles on (June 8, 2013, 19:48 GMT)

To all the SL haters out there who say SL underperforms in the sub continent, I have other ideas. Take a glance back to the recently concluded CB series n how SL team performed n cooped with "above the knee" deliveries. SL is by far the best subcontinent team with the ability to handle pace and bounce. Let actions speak. Those who play better on the day will emerge. Best of luck for NZ as well. hope to see a replay of 2011 WC semi final. Lions all the way !!!

Posted by kc69 on (June 8, 2013, 19:32 GMT)

Even though there have been quite a few reviews here. But I believe both the sides fare an equal chance to win this match. As the kiwi's are high on spirits after beating England at home. Lankan's would be hoping their big guns to fire tomorrow. But its the conditions that matter most. Provided if the pitch behaves same as it did between India vs SA then SL will have a better chance, because of their star studded batting and moreover New Zealand are used to overcast bouncy wickets. I would still rate NZ as the dark horses of this group who can upset anyone on a given day. Waiting for a good match tomorrow.

Posted by   on (June 8, 2013, 19:31 GMT)

I too Agree With SL Playing 2 Quality spinners .. & SRI LANKA is Definitely Going to Win tomorrows Game .. No doubt!

Posted by CricketingStargazer on (June 8, 2013, 19:20 GMT)

I would put some money on New Zealand to win the tournament. They have a fabulous record in England over the last 10 years - by far the best in ODIs of any of the 8 sides - and are playing with confidence in this format, while South Africa looks out of sorts with its spearhead missing. New Zealand have to be favourites for this match.

Posted by C0l0mb0 on (June 8, 2013, 19:08 GMT)

As SL supporter, i like to see, kushal, dilshan, sanga, mahela, chandimal, mathews, Mendis, thisara, kulasekara, herath, malinga 3x spinners n 4x fasts should do the trick

Posted by   on (June 8, 2013, 18:40 GMT)

sri lanka are the faar faar better side than kiwis. the whole kiwis stands till their opners , mcclum, and tylr stand. if the lankans bats first and score only 250, the game is over, kiwis cant reach there. the ways lankans spinners bowl, plus malinga will be very difficult to control. lankans should win this match with ease.

Posted by   on (June 8, 2013, 18:26 GMT)

Newzealand should win this one for sure going by the current form. Srilankan batsmen will struggle to score anywhere where the ball goes above the knees (unlike in Sri Lanka) and to add to that their batsmen seem to be out of form. bowling isn't too strong either, Malinga being the saving grace... I hope SL pick their great All rounder Angelo Mathews tomorrow, he will make things easier for NZ.

Posted by Sinhaya on (June 8, 2013, 18:20 GMT)

Great analysis and creative writing to compare this with a couple of tennis greats. Kudos goes to Abhishek Purohit and well done!

It would be absolutely crazy not to play Sachithra Senanayake and Herath tomorrow as 2 spinners will definitely help us save 30 to 40 runs. So far in this tournament, spinners have done a good job in containing the run flow.

NZ no doubt has a superb pace attack and essential that we get a good start. Kushal Perera (KP) averaging 50 in ODIs in Australia augurs well for him tomorrow. Guptill is no doubt in prime form and must get him early. Our pace bowling is the biggest worry of all as of now.

Posted by   on (June 8, 2013, 18:17 GMT)

2 weakest teams. New Zealand are obviously better of the 2 and should win this comfortably tomorrow. But I'm just glad the French open final is on tomorrow which should be entertaining.

Posted by Kiru27 on (June 8, 2013, 17:44 GMT)

NZ will win this match, but again, no quality spin in NZ which gives an advantage to SL. But the inconsistency in SL batsman may cost the match

Posted by TrueLankan on (June 8, 2013, 17:32 GMT)

Chandimal needs to bat in between Sangakarra and Mahela. matthews is absolutely worthless and is only there to make sure there are 11 players in the team. Other than that the probable eleven looks great.

Posted by   on (June 8, 2013, 17:25 GMT)

I totally agree that NZ is among the most consistent teams in last decade. they don't have players who they can call as all time greats but they have there arsenals in McCullum, Taylor who are not any avg players of international arena. The most notable thing about this team is they gel so well together, they know they don't have the best of weapons but they do have some effective weapons. Knowing their SWOT is what they have done excellently. And they have shown this in last decade. If they keep believing in themselves then they might some day turn out to be a heavyweight of cricketing world courtesy some promising talents like williamson.

Posted by Baseball-Sucks on (June 8, 2013, 16:39 GMT)

I think we should go with 2 spinners as Cardiff pitch offers a lot for spinners . NZ have got a lot of right-handers (8) n Herath's left arm spin will be very effective against 'em. And Sachi can work his mystery to trouble Kiwis from the other end. I don't think that Mendis' batting is gonna be essential here as we've got 5 specialist batsmen n 2 genuine allrounders. So its always better to go with an extra bowler than another allrounder. Then, Mathews will have a plenty of bowlers to mix it up. - Malinga , Kula, Mathews , Thisara , Herath ,Sachi n Dilshan.

The Best XI- 1) Kusal 2) Dilshan 3) Mahela 4) Sanga 5) Chandimal 6) Mathews 7) Thisara 8) Kula 9) Herath 10) Malinga 11) Sachi

I'm looking forward to see another full frontal assault from Kusal "lil Master Blaster" Perera tomorrow. LIONS LEAD THE WAY !!!!!

Posted by Jadejafan on (June 8, 2013, 16:17 GMT)

New Zealand should win this match with ease. They have just beaten England in England in a series and have the momentum. Sri Lanka are an ordinary team now. It will probably be their experience trio that will probably lift them a bit but without them, can see them struggling a lot.

Posted by nzcricket174 on (June 8, 2013, 16:14 GMT)

If only there was a Roger Federer in the world of cricket - well-liked, humble, yet insanely good.

Posted by Perera32 on (June 8, 2013, 16:06 GMT)

Malinga is only 29, so age is not an issue there. There is no way SL will play Jeevan Mendis, Shaminda Eranga will play, that is obvious. Senanayake and Dilshan will be the spin options. I think Sri lanka play bounce better than other sub continent teams, the results shown by Sri lanka's performances in England and Australia in the last 2 series there.

Posted by Tal_Botvinnik on (June 8, 2013, 15:47 GMT)

Team XI: 1.Kusal Janith 2.T Dilshan 3.K Sangakkarra 4.D Chandimal 5.M Jayawardene 6.A Mathews 7.Jeewan Mendis 8.T Perera 9.N Kulasekera 10.R Herath 11.L Malinga.

Posted by   on (June 8, 2013, 15:41 GMT)

Other teams are competing to what? to play the final against mighty lions.time to roar again.

Posted by priceless1 on (June 8, 2013, 15:34 GMT)

NZ Batsmen over the past two months have faced top quality seem bowlers like Steyn,Morkel,broad...therefor SL should pack their side with spinners and give NZ batters some thing new to think about that they haven't faced in a while

Posted by   on (June 8, 2013, 15:26 GMT)

The cup is ours come on Srilanka go out like lions.

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Tournament Results
England v India at Birmingham - Jun 23, 2013
India won by 5 runs
India v Sri Lanka at Cardiff - Jun 20, 2013
India won by 8 wickets (with 90 balls remaining)
England v South Africa at The Oval - Jun 19, 2013
England won by 7 wickets (with 75 balls remaining)
Australia v Sri Lanka at The Oval - Jun 17, 2013
Sri Lanka won by 20 runs
England v New Zealand at Cardiff - Jun 16, 2013
England won by 10 runs
More results »
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News | Features Last 3 days