Sri Lanka v New Zealand, tri-series, 4th ODI, Dambulla August 19, 2010

Plenty at stake in rain replay


Match Facts

Friday, August 20, 2010
Start time 14.30 (0900 GMT)

Big Picture

Anyone looking to predict how the second half of the tri-series will pan out will have a hard time finding a pattern from the first set of league matches. Consistency has eluded all three teams, each of whom have had one comfortable victory and one big defeat so far. The reserve day for all matches in this tournament means nothing much has changed due to Thursday's washout; whoever loses the replay on Friday will still be left staring at a must-win situation in their final league match.

Missing out on a bonus point has left Sri Lanka at a bit of a disadvantage, but their immediate challenge will be to switch the focus back to cricket after the brouhaha over the Suraj Randiv no-ball incident. There have been accusations of breaching the spirit of cricket, apologies aplenty and an internal probe into the incident by the Sri Lankan board, which resulted in Randiv's suspension for a game and him and Tillakaratne Dilshan losing their match fees. The controversy overshadowed a comprehensive defeat to India, after which Kumar Sangakkara criticised his team for batting that was "not at all professional and not up to standard at this level of cricket".

New Zealand surprised everyone in the opening match with a strong batting performance, before their batting fragility was exposed by Sri Lanka. One of New Zealand's main worries in the tournament has been the top-order batting, and that will be amplified if Martin Guptill fails to recover from injury in time for Friday's game. They have lost three wickets cheaply in both their matches so far, leaving the middle order plenty of rescue-and-recovery work.

Form guide

(most recent first)
Sri Lanka: LWLWW
New Zealand:LWWLL

Watch out for...

Kane Williamson has had a difficult initiation to international cricket, he's yet to score a run after two innings. Talked up by Ross Taylor ahead of the series and rated as New Zealand's best backfoot player by the coach of his domestic side, Northern Districts, 20-year-old Williamson will be keen to justify the hype surrounding his call-up.

Another player who has had a couple of failures in the tournament is Mahela Jayawardene. A couple of months ago in Dambulla, he effortlessly piled on the runs during the Asia Cup to smoothen Sri Lanka's path to the final. He will be looking to recapture that form as the tussle for a final's spot heats up.

Team news

Randiv remains suspended for the game on Friday. Sangakkara had said the presence of many right-hand batsmen in the New Zealand line-up had prompted him to pick Rangana Herath in the opening match. Given how little New Zealand have seen of Ajantha Mendis, the spinner could also get a look-in ahead of Dilhara Fernando, though the quick bowler may be preferred if the incessant rain has made the pitch more suited for fast bowling.

Sri Lanka: 1 Tillakaratne Dilshan, 2 Upul Tharanga, 3 Kumar Sangakkara (capt & wk), 4 Mahela Jayawardene, 5 Angelo Mathews, 6 Chamara Silva, 7 Chamara Kapugedera, 8 Nuwan Kulasekara, 9 Rangana Herath, 10 Ajantha Mendis/Dilhara Fernando, 11 Lasith Malinga

Guptill's injury could leave New Zealand with three players in the top four with a combined experience of 13 matches.

New Zealand: 1 Martin Guptill/Peter Ingram, 2 BJ Watling, 3 Ross Taylor (capt), 4 Kane Williamson, 5 Scott Styris, 6 Jacob Oram, 7 Grant Elliott, 8 Gareth Hopkins (wk), 9 Nathan McCullum, 10 Kyle Mills, 11 Daryl Tuffey

Pitch and conditions

Both captains have talked about how the ball seams more under lights but swings less than it does during the day. Ross Taylor reckoned 230-240 will be a par score but, if there is more rain in the air, his estimates are likely to change.

The three captains have had differing views on the importance of the toss: MS Dhoni thinks it crucial, Taylor says it doesn't have big influence on the game while Sangakkara says it gives a slight advantage. Taylor elected to bat on Thursday and the captain winning the toss in the replay is likely to do the same.


"The openers are there and it is a tough job when the ball does swing around. I am sure they are used to it and hopefully we can lose less wickets at the top and give ourselves a better chance through the middle."
Ross Taylor backs his struggling top order to come good

"As professionals, whatever happens before games or after games, it's immaterial when we go onto the field. There the focus is to win the game and try things out."
Kumar Sangakkara says the team is not distracted by the no-ball controversy

Siddarth Ravindran is a sub-editor at Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Sunil on August 20, 2010, 9:07 GMT

    I hope all the dust has settled on the :No ball" incident.The BCCI should put a gag order on cricketers tweeting/blogging etc during a match/series.Forthrightnes is ok,but the limits are stretched when emotions come to the fore.Today one read a well written article by Harsha Bhogle,asking for a collective apology by the media towards Sangakkara.Sensationalism and the undending penchant for "breaking news" is demeaning the fair game of cricket.I hope this incident does not tarnish the skills and psyche of Randiv,And every team has a manager or a press relations person on tour who should address the media on issues that are newsworthy.Not the player involved.An apology to Sanga now noted,lets watch some good cricket.

  • Rajasundram on August 20, 2010, 8:52 GMT

    There is a saying" "You cannot see the spit on your own back."

    Indian cricketers and the media have yo grow up and not gloss ober their own faults.

    At lease Randiv went to Sehwag's room and apologised. And SLC did the decent5 thing by acting on their own initiative to tell the [;ayers that we care for the noble traditions of the game!

    The only person to benegit in the furore was Kohli, who should have been hauled up by the match refree for gis antics after being given out - but then he is Indian and therefore got away with it.

  • Steven on August 20, 2010, 8:37 GMT

    @chokkashokka - was a 200 run loss not enough from NZ?? it was there B team that thrashed you! Watch NZ go and win this cup, securing our spot as the 2nd best ODI team. GO BLACK CAPS! And woud everyone else focus on the game at hand!!!

  • Rameendra on August 20, 2010, 8:36 GMT

    to mr.chokkashokka.....who thinks his indian team is a first tier team.....i feel very sorry about him as the stats are stacked against his statement....indian team has been pathetic in almost all international tournaments in the last 4 years and if any team is second tier it's india than anybody else as both other teams have featured at least in the semi finals of major tournaments in the last 4 years....just dream on cheap boy!!!

  • Ciby on August 20, 2010, 8:32 GMT

    Ofcourse the wicket was not gifted..but did they could have staged a deliberate runout and deny Murali 800th wicket.

    =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- Posted by Shane_Perera on (August 19 2010, 08:09 AM GMT) @Nivan Bakhtiani : Oh.. that's why the last pair batted more than 15 overs. Murali did earned his 800 wickets. No one gifted him any. Don't u talk about cheating.. Whole world know the truth!

  • Dummy4 on August 20, 2010, 8:03 GMT

    I think India Vs New Zealand will face in Final. One man dam show spoiled whole team shape. At-least in future every team will think this incident and play sport man ship games not only in Cricket each and every games.

  • Dummy4 on August 20, 2010, 7:55 GMT

    Chokkashokka i find your comment absolutely absurd! Cant you remember the opening game of this tournament, Indian was thrashed, annihilated, wiped off the face of this earth by a 2nd string New Zealand team and yet you say that India should be facing these other teams?? Im unsure what planet you are on but this tournament is doing these 3 teams well, look how close it is at the half way stage!

  • Namal on August 20, 2010, 7:54 GMT

    OK Octa, Now all say that its a deliberate no ball. Fine with me, what if it was a genuine no ball ?? And gone for a six ?? I'm not saying what Randiv did was rite. I totally agree with on the "spirit of cricket" thing.

  • Dummy4 on August 20, 2010, 7:44 GMT

    randiv innocent,culprit is dilshan

  • Ross on August 20, 2010, 7:27 GMT

    Cant agree with nuzrai, it clearly is in violation of the "spirit of cricket" what Randiv did and therefore he is subject to the Sri Lankan Board if they wish to take action. The Spirit of cricket is all about morality.

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