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New Zealand v Sri Lanka, World Cup 2011, Group A, Mumbai

Teams hunt for momentum before quarter-finals

The Preview by Sidharth Monga

March 17, 2011

Comments: 42 | Text size: A | A

Match Facts

March 18, Mumbai
Start time 2.30pm (0900 GMT)

Jesse Ryder plays the hook, Canada v New Zealand, Group A, World Cup 2011, Mumbai, March 13 2011
New Zealand would want Jesse Ryder to get some runs ahead of the quarter-finals © Getty Images

The Big Picture

Two days before this match, Mumbai witnessed, at 41.6 degrees celsius, its hottest March day in 55 years, and second-hottest overall. The match itself doesn't quite promise to be as hot as the matches between big teams in the Group B: New Zealand are going easy, not risking either Daniel Vettori or Kyle Mills; Sri Lanka, the pre-tournament favourites, are yet to put up a performance to match that billing.

That said, there is a lot at stake. Not only is this the last league game for both teams, which makes this important for momentum purposes, more importantly the winners here will be assured a place in the top two, which means they will get one of the two bottom teams from Group B in the quarters. Then again, looking at how chaotic Group B has been, that might eventually not count for much: one of the bottom sides there still could be India, and one of the top ones Bangladesh.

Neither New Zealand nor Sri Lanka will be thinking of Group B, though. To finish in the top two, and to give themselves an even chance to win the quarterfinal, will be some progress for New Zealand, who were blanked 4-0 and 5-0 in their last two series in the subcontinent. For Sri Lanka, this is an opportunity to announce themselves in this World Cup. They have been efficient against the minnows, but they lost to Pakistan, and had only fought back to make things even before rain ended their game against Australia.

Form guide

(completed matches, most recent first)

New Zealand WWWLW
Sri Lanka WWLWW

Watch out for...

This will be a near homecoming for Lasith Malinga, who - when playing for Mumbai Indians - got the whole Wankhede Stadium to chant "Ma-lin-ga, Ma-lin-ga" when bowling yorkers and slower balls from hell. Used sparingly so far, he has six wickets from the two times that he has bowled, all six - including a hat-trick - against Kenya.

Jesse Ryder is yet to leave any impression in this World Cup; then again he has batted only twice in four games. Batting at No. 3, it's unlikely Ryder won't get a chance in this game, and he will want a longer innings than the 25 and 38 he has managed in the two innings so far.

Team news

New Zealand are struggling with injuries, but do not want to rush back the wounded for a game inconsequential to their progress to the quarter-finals. Vettori will get more time to work on his injured knee, and Mills on his quad strain. Hamish Bennett is likely to replace Mills.

New Zealand (probable) 1 Martin Guptill, 2 Brendon McCullum (wk), 3 Jesse Ryder, 4 Ross Taylor (capt), 5 Kane Williamson, 6 Scott Styris, 7 James Franklin, 8 Nathan McCullum, 8 Jacob Oram, 10 Hamish Bennett, 11 Tim Southee

Sri Lanka grapple with the perennial question of which of the Chamaras to pick, Silva or Kapugedera. They could also give Dilhara Fernando a game ahead of Nuwan Kulasekara.

Sri Lanka (probable) 1 Tillakaratne Dilshan, 2 Upul Tharanga, 3 Kumar Sangakkara (capt/wk), 4 Mahela Jayawardene, 5 Thilan Samaraweera, 6 Chamara Silva / Chamara Kapugedera, 7 Angelo Mathews, 8 Thisara Perera, 9 Nuwan Kulasekara / Dilhara Fernando, 10 Lasith Malinga, 11 Muttiah Muralitharan

Try picking the XIs for tomorrow's game by playing Team Selector.

Pitch and conditions

New Zealand scored 358 in the first game at the Wankhede this tournament. There was some assistance for the fast bowlers early on, but it was a day game, so this one promises to be hard work for the bowlers. Not least because of the heat in Mumbai.

Stats and trivia

  • Kumar Sangakkara is 49 short of becoming the fourth Sri Lankan, and 14th man overall, to 9000 ODI runs.

  • Sri Lanka lead New Zealand 4-3 in their World Cup head-to-head; they have won all of their last three matches.

  • With 283 runs from five innings, Tillakaratne Dilshan is the highest run-getter from Group A, but No. 6 overall. Immediately behind Dilshan is Upul Tharanga, with 258 runs.


"Excited to have made the quarterfinals, but our job is not done. It is a very important game tomorrow. We go into it with the purpose of winning. It will be great to win the game and finish in the top two going in to the quarterfinals."
Nathan McCullum knows what exactly is at stake

"Every side likes to build momentum, and take the momentum into the really important stage. At the same time, the sides that might not win in the final first-round game won't be too much worried about it. The quarters, semis and the finals are the one that really count."
Kumar Sangakkara plays down the importance of momentum

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Comments: 42 
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Posted by Dummy4 on (March 18, 2011, 16:28 GMT)

WelDonE LankanSS & Best Of luck for the Rest MatcheSSSSSSSS

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 18, 2011, 10:36 GMT)

Wha? We actually have a chance??? Sweet as!!! GO NEW ZEALAND!!! GOD DEEFEEND NEW ZEEEEEALAND!!!

Posted by saleha on (March 18, 2011, 8:25 GMT)

Lankans u can do it....I want malinga, murali to show their best in today's match.All the very best to SL since SL is my second fav team after pakistan

Posted by Dammika on (March 18, 2011, 8:10 GMT)

The SriLankans are going to beat the Kiwis! Let me tell you, that the Kiwi is the only bird in the whole world, which does not have wings!

Posted by Gathika on (March 18, 2011, 8:10 GMT)

sri lanka will win as NZ is very poor these days

Posted by swarna on (March 18, 2011, 7:38 GMT)

Good luck Keep Sri Lanka flag flying. We are bhind you!!

Posted by faizal on (March 18, 2011, 6:17 GMT)

the kiwis gonna fly away when the lions roar

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 18, 2011, 5:51 GMT)

no more tailors day again,,, he will not be able to do again wat he did in last 2 games, and malinga will be gud enough to boweld him out,,, best of luck lions,,,

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 18, 2011, 5:04 GMT)

I want NZ to win this and Pak to beat Australia................then NZ will be on the top pf the group

Posted by Daniel on (March 18, 2011, 4:26 GMT)

Well Sri lanka has a Big match against the kiwis who have been going strongly. LETS GO SRI LANKA WE CAN DO IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Best of luck for the New Zealand team too.

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