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The Preview by Siddarth Ravindran in Dambulla
August 12, 2010
Match FactsFriday, August 13, 2010
New Zealand came into this tournament looking at it as a chance to sample subcontintental conditions in the build-up to the World Cup but, in Dambulla, they found a track with plenty of swing and seam, unlike most pitches in Asia. They even went into their first match with a distinctly un-subcontinental bowling line-up, having no frontline spinners. Scott Styris had talked about the 'lack of respect' from the opposition and the media ahead of the tournament, but after their 200-run demolition of India, they won't be taken lightly by Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka are a tough team to beat at home and are the only side in this tournament with something resembling a full-strength squad. They will be using the tri-series to assess their lower middle-order: Thilina Kandamby and Farveez Maharoof have been axed, while Chamara Silva and Thisara Perera have been recalled after solid performances on the A tour of Australia. It will be an important tournament for Ajantha Mendis as well, returning to the squad after being left out of the Asia Cup.
For those interested in the ICC one-day rankings, the next week will be an exciting one. With only six points separating five teams, there could be four different teams officially rated as the world's second best in the next few days. New Zealand parked themselves in the No. 2 spot two days ago, but a loss on Friday will send them sinking to fifth.
Form guide(most recent first)
Watch out for...Martin Guptill has been a regular with the New Zealand team for more than nineteen months, and in a top order containing newcomers like Peter Ingram and Kane Williamson, the responsibility on him increases. He has also had a bit of a lean run, not making too many runs in the five one-dayers against Australia, and New Zealand will be desperate for him to return to form.
Several members of the New Zealand side have never faced Lasith Malinga and his slingy action, which makes his yorker-and-bouncer mix even more dangerous on Friday.
Team newsJacob Oram is a doubtful starter due to a hamstring problem, though a final decision on his availability has not been taken yet. BJ Watling is recovering from a stomach bug and, if fit, could be handed a one-day debut.
New Zealand (probable): 1 Martin Guptill, 2 Peter Ingram/BJ Watling, 3 Ross Taylor (capt), 4 Kane Williamson, 5 Scott Styris, 6 Grant Elliott, 7 Gareth Hopkins (wk), 8 Jacob Oram/Nathan McCullum, 9 Daryl Tuffey, 10 Kyle Mills, 11 Andy McKay
Sri Lanka (probable): 1 Upul Tharanga, 2 Tillakaratne Dilshan, 3 Kumar Sangakkara (capt & wk), 4 Mahela Jayawardene, 5 Angelo Mathews, 6 Chamara Kapugedera, 7 Chamara Silva/Thisara Perera, 8 Suraj Randiv, 9 Lasith Malinga, 10 Ajantha Mendis/Rangana Herath, 11 Nuwan Kulasekara
Stats and trivia
Pitch and conditionsThe second match will be played on the same pitch used in the opening game. Seamers dominated on Tuesday, but there was sharp spin on offer as well.
Quotes"I think the history on this ground in 50-50, the team that wins the toss always bats but the win ratio is about 50%. I'm sure if the team that bowls first tomorrow gets a few early wickets and negate a little period, the middle period might be a little different."
"During the day there was more swing, in the night there was more nibble off the track and I think it's always the nibble off the track that is more difficult to play."
Kumar Sangakkara on the Dambulla pitch