Sri Lanka v New Zealand, 5th ODI, Hambantota

New Zealand's chance to start afresh before Tests

The Preview by Andrew Fernando

November 11, 2012

Comments: 34 | Text size: A | A

Big picture

James Franklin has a chat with the umpire, Sri Lanka v New Zealand, 4th ODI, Hambantota, November 10, 2012
New Zealand continue to slide in the rain © Associated Press

Amid monsoon torrents, relocated matches and stomach bugs, New Zealand have so far only sunk further into their rut in Sri Lanka. The second ODI was stopped by rain just as it was building to a climax, but in the following matches, the visitors have been thoroughly outclassed. They have not been helped by the toss, which has fallen against them in two of the three matches, forcing them to contend with a wet ball after the evening rains arrived. But given their poor record in the recent past, the team will be sick of excuses.

New Zealand's batting has been competent at times, and their fast bowlers found decent movement in the fourth ODI in Hambantota, but they are yet to put on a complete performance in the series. New Zealand have also spoken of the soft middle order of Sri Lanka, but have not taken more than three wickets in an innings. They will hope for better luck and more consistency for their quicks if they are to put Sri Lanka's less experienced batsmen under pressure.

Having secured the series, Sri Lanka don't have much to gain from the final ODI apart from momentum and form ahead of the Test series. Each of Sri Lanka's big three batsmen have been among the runs, and Test bowlers Nuwan Kulasekara and Rangana Herath have also enjoyed the series. They are likely to rotate a few of the fringe members in the squad for some game time.

Form guide

(Completed matches, most recent first)
Sri Lanka: WWWLL
New Zealand: LLLLL

Players to watch

Dinesh Chandimal played and missed plenty of times in his 43 on Saturday, but there were also sparkling strokes amid the nervy ones. He is in the Test squad, but does not have a place in the middle order. If he opens the batting again in the fifth ODI, and is successful, he could put pressure on Test opener Tharanga Paranavitana who has the least secure spot in the batting order.

Tim Southee got the ball to move so far in the air and off the seam in the last match, Sri Lanka's top order had no hope of edging it. If Southee is luckier, he could be the bowler to bare the hosts' middle order by dismissing the top four quickly.

Pitch and conditions

The forecast predicts rain in the evening, and if the series so far is anything to go by, the teams can expect the final match to be interrupted at some point. In that scenario, the toss is important once again, and the team who wins it will likely want to bowl first. However, as New Zealand proved on Saturday, there is still plenty for the fast bowlers in the Hambantota pitch at night.

Team news

Sri Lanka will be keen to give their youngsters a pressure-free dead rubber in which to hone their skills, meaning Akila Dananjaya could be in line for an ODI debut. Expect Shaminda Eranga to get a match as well.

Sri Lanka (probable): 1. Upul Tharanga, 2. Dinesh Chandimal, 3. Kumar Sangakkara (wk), 4. Mahela Jayawardene (c), 5. Angelo Mathews, 6. Lahiru Thirimanne, 7. Jeevan Mendis, 8. Thisara Perera, 9. Shaminda Eranga, 10. Akila Dananjaya, 11. Lasith Malinga

Adam Milne could not produce the kind of pace he is capable of in the last ODI, and he may get another chance to impress on Monday. There is a small chance Tom Latham will return to the top order as well.

New Zealand (probable): 1. Rob Nicol/ Tom Latham, 2. BJ Watling (wk), 3. Brendon McCullum, 4. Ross Taylor (c), 5. Kane Williamson, 6. James Franklin, 7. Nathan McCullum, 8. Andrew Ellis, 9. Tim Southee, 10. Trent Boult, 11. Adam Milne

Stats and trivia

- Dinesh Chandimal averages 53.39 outside Asia from 25 matches, but only 17.05 in it, from 21 games.

- New Zealand have not won an ODI series against top eight opposition since November 2009.


"One day cricket, especially with the rule changes, suits allrounders better. We bat deep, and guys like Jeevan Mendis, Thisara Perera and Angelo Mathews aren't just half-bowlers. They are actually very good bowlers to have in your side."

Mahela Jayawardene on the advantage of having allrounders in ODIs

"We're getting pretty used to staying switched on through rain breaks. It seems to happen three or four times every game."

Ross Taylor on how his side are growing accustomed to the routine of cricket in Sri Lanka, in November

Andrew Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's correspondent in Sri Lanka

RSS Feeds: Andrew Fidel Fernando

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Naushad79 on (November 12, 2012, 9:11 GMT)

I don't understand why people don't like kapu playing, if you take the stats and see how many times that he has got the opportunity to bat more than 30 overs, it is very less every time that he have come in to bat if he has the opportunity he has scored and he is a strong hitter, and can play all around the ground, but the story has been that he come in to bat in last 3 or 4 overs, or when SL in a chase of huge total and RR is high, in all this situation he needs to score, he con not think about his personal record. he is in for and need to give him the chance to bat up the order may be now Thanga is getting ample of chances. let Kapugedara, Thrimanna, Angelo and Chandimal bat up the oder, there the future of SL cricket, why always Sanga, Dili, Mahela up the order, i'm not blaming them, their the best in the business, but we need to players when kuma, dili and mahela leaves.

Posted by   on (November 12, 2012, 8:55 GMT)

Disappointed...Only 2 changes....Why the hell ..Mahela & Malinga playing in this match...Should have given a chance to Kapu & Kaushal....Tharindu Kaushal has been benched for the 6th convective match....He should have played together with Dananjaya...

Posted by   on (November 12, 2012, 8:17 GMT)

they have to give Upul Tharanga a chane to play in Tests. He have beeing playing too long in ODI's without a chance in the Test side.

Posted by FanTalks on (November 12, 2012, 7:31 GMT)

SL should rest Mahela, Sanga, Dilshan and Malinga and give youngsters a chance bcos SL dosent hv anythng to loose. Todays team should be - Tharanga and Chandimal should open the innings. + Chandimal (Wk). (3) Kapu, (4) Lahiru, (5) Mathews, (6) Jeewan, (7) Thissara, (8) Kule, (9) Eranga, (10) Akila, (11) Tharindu.

Posted by yorkslanka on (November 12, 2012, 7:30 GMT)

@bonobo, personally I think tharanga should open in tests as he is our future opener..

Posted by yorkslanka on (November 12, 2012, 7:27 GMT)

no reason for us to play Mahela,Sanga or Dilshan today, hopefully they will be rested and youngsters will take their places, would like to continue to see Chandimal given a chance with Tharanga opening...

Posted by kevepere on (November 12, 2012, 7:24 GMT)

kindly give j mendis a chance to bat higher.. the big 3 does not have to prove anything now. give chances to munaweera and other upcoming talents .

Posted by kevepere on (November 12, 2012, 7:21 GMT)

Some of the people here still wants kapu ... for what ? Howmany opportunities did he get? what does he have to prove .. I agree the youngsters should be given a chance .. We should drop atleast one out of the big 3... for example playing... odi1- mahela and sanga , odi2- mahela/dilshan , odi3 - sanga/dilshan... finds another position for one to prove his talents.. surely this will not make any bad affect for anyone. please find young talent cause once these 3 are gone we might be quite weak

Posted by FanTalks on (November 12, 2012, 7:05 GMT)

SL should rest Mahela, Sanga, Dilshan and Malinga and give youngsters a chance bcos SL dosent hv anythng to loose. Todays team should be - Tharanga and Chandimal should open the innings. + Chandimal (Wk). (3) Kapu, (4) Lahiru, (5) Mathews, (6) Jeewan, (7) Thissara, (8) Kule, (9) Eranga, (10) Akila, (11) Tharindu.

Posted by ajithabey on (November 12, 2012, 6:21 GMT)

Now that the series has been won,hopefully Mahela,Sanga,Kulasekera ,Dilshan and Herath will take a break for rest and recuperation and in preparation for the test series.Give the bench players a go against the Kiwis.They need match practice too

Posted by   on (November 12, 2012, 6:14 GMT)

Mahela not playing today's game Angi captaining the side, kapugedara playng & no malinga 2dys game shaminda eranga playng

Posted by DilumSL on (November 12, 2012, 5:27 GMT)

Now I can see my predictions coming true as "people wants Thirimanne out of the squad". Same thing that happens to Kapu. ruined by seniors and selectors. Lahiru is our next Sanga and he should bat at no 2 or 3. he is useless at no 6 or 7. like to see seniors rested for today's game my team 1.Upul (he is out of form but deserves to be in the team coz he has done well before his finger injury) 2. Lahiru 3.Chandimal(wk) 4.Kapu 5.Angelo(c) 6.Jeewan 7.Thisara 8.Nuwan 9.Shaminda 10.Akila 11.Tharindu

Posted by kiwicricketnut on (November 12, 2012, 5:05 GMT)

how can we expect to win when we don't pick our best players, its hard enough being a minnow of the game but to make it even harder on ourselves by leaving better players at home leaves me wondering what the hell goes through the selectors minds, its just crazy!! I know ryder is a no show at the moment and the sooner he's back the better but the best odi XI avaliable at the moment is 1.M Guptill 2.B Watling 3.B McCullum 4.K Williamson 5.R Taylor 6.C Anderson 7.N McCullum 8.D Bracewell 9.T Southee 10.A Milne 11.T.Boult Nicol's, Oram's, Ellis's and Mills's days have got to be over.

Posted by Htc-Android on (November 12, 2012, 4:40 GMT)

I want sri lanka to bat first on tomorrow.

Posted by   on (November 12, 2012, 4:29 GMT)

bring-in any of the youngsters except Kapugedara.

Posted by Naushad79 on (November 12, 2012, 4:17 GMT)

My side would be for the 5th ODI 1. Chandimal (Open) 2. Thrimanna (Open) 3. Kapugedara 4. Sanga 5. Mahela, 6. Mathews 7. Thisara 8. Jevan 9. Malinga 10. Kulasekara 11. Akela Dananjaya

Posted by wickramanayake on (November 12, 2012, 3:10 GMT)

i think that dananjaya vs tharindu competition must start with 5th odi. cause then they can show their places in the team. sl already took the trophy and they must give a chance for younger s. we believe that the team combination(15) isn't correct. my team 1. Upul Tharanga, 2. Dinesh Chandimal, 3. Kumar Sangakkara (wk), 4. Mahela Jayawardene (c), 5. Angelo Mathews, 6. Jeevan Mendis, 7. Thisara Perera, 8. Shaminda Eranga, 9. Akila Dananjaya, 10. Tharindu Kaushal, 11. Lasith Malinga anyway i wish sl to keep their winning manner.

Posted by pt_pt on (November 12, 2012, 2:54 GMT)

Would like to see Latham have another chance today, so would go with 1. McCullum 2. Watling 3. Williamson 4. Taylor 5. Latham 6. Franklin 7. N. McCullum 8. Ellis 9. Southee 10. Milne 11. Boult and hope that New Zealand can finally win the toss and bowl first.

Posted by   on (November 12, 2012, 2:16 GMT)

Let's see our youngsters play today. I hope selectors will give them an opportunity to show their talents.

Posted by miles100 on (November 12, 2012, 2:16 GMT)

When we talk about young batsmen, they should look at the best SL under 19 batsman in 2012 Sandun Weerakkody who scored a fighting century in the under 19 world cup early this year and won the match for SL. His under 19 batting average is 45.5 in 8 matches which is best among the SL under 19. This kid is technically correct and defensive at the start but a big hitter like Jayasuriya at the end to finish the game, capable of hitting into the croud to finish matches. These are the type of players they should motivate and introduce to the national team at the age 19 to 21 and not at age of 25-30, by then these players are destroyed in the club arena.

Posted by miles100 on (November 12, 2012, 1:44 GMT)

Ramesh Dharshana Perera- As you say Thrimanne has the potential & should be given a fair go as I always believe in bringing youngsters to the side & not primarily older club batsmen as debutantes since our club cricket is weak.However I think Maheal & the selectors have sacrificed gutsy & talented young Dinesh too much to give Thiri enough chances for the last 6 months and up to today, Thiri is yet to make an impact yet as Dinesh did.Maybe Thiri is talented,we are still waiting to see his capability at the international arena even after 12 months now.I think the difference between these two youngsters at the international scene is that Dinesh is a gutsy/mature character comparatively. I hope Thiri will change and start delivering the real goods or otherwise it will be unfair for other talented youngsters who are waiting to get into the national side. Selectors also should gamble a few youngsters at a time than 1 or 2 to allow the strongest youngsters to survive.

Posted by bonobo on (November 11, 2012, 22:57 GMT)

I havent watched much of him, but do people think Chandimal can open Tests ? Dilshan has never found a solid partner and it would allow Sri to play all those mighty middle order batsmen, plus Prasanna (best wicket keeper in the world)

Posted by Test-is-the-best on (November 11, 2012, 21:36 GMT)

So it will be the only chance the younsters will recieve as Mahela boasted before the start of the series. Unfortunately SL doesnt have a captain with good vision to identify real match winners. Arjuna did it in the past and groomed world class players during his tenure. Sanath, Murali & Vass were good examples for it.

Posted by   on (November 11, 2012, 19:06 GMT)

Why Chandimal have such a poor record inside subcontinent?

Posted by   on (November 11, 2012, 18:47 GMT)

In T20 final against WI and 3 ODI against NZ Malinga gave most number of runs than any other SL bowler. Why Mahela and SL selectors still want him to play? His form is deteriorating match by match. He should be dropped from the ODI and T20 squad against Australia in January next year

Posted by InsideHedge on (November 11, 2012, 18:25 GMT)

Gosh, that stat about NZ not winning a ODI series against a Top 8 Opp since Nov 2009 is staggering. Staggeringly BAD! Shameful! Soon, they will see West Indies overtaking them in the Test rankings as well as ODIs. It'll be a 3-way battle between the Kiwis, Bangla and Zim to determine the worst team in international cricket. My money's on Zim, but only just, Bangla and the Kiwis will give 'em a good run for their money!

Posted by BuffaloNY on (November 11, 2012, 17:30 GMT)

Perhaps, SL should play the last ODI w/o the seniors like MJ, KS, LM, RH and NK. The team should be : Dilshan M, Upul T, Lahiru T, Dinesh C (wkt), Kapu, AM (capt), Jeevan M, Thisara P, Shaminda E, Akila D, Tharindu K.

Posted by stormy16 on (November 11, 2012, 17:10 GMT)

Mathews to captain, Chandi to keep, Malinga and Kula to rest - lets see the youngsters.

Posted by   on (November 11, 2012, 15:54 GMT)

Kapugedara should play .. huh

Posted by TheRisingTeam on (November 11, 2012, 15:22 GMT)

New Zealand struggling against teams like West Indies and Sri Lanka then I wonder what's going to happen when you tour South Africa and England next? :)

Posted by   on (November 11, 2012, 15:08 GMT)

those who say Thirimanne should be dropped have no clue about what they are talking...He is technically correct and along with Chandimal , one of the 2 best young batters we got.He is among top 5 young batters in world cricket.Mahela should be rested and we should give a chance to Kapugedara.Chandimal and Thirimanne should play almost every match from here on atleast and should bat at the top order

Posted by   on (November 11, 2012, 14:57 GMT)

Thirimanne should be dropped and kapu must get a chance to play because he's in a good form

Posted by   on (November 11, 2012, 14:41 GMT)

Can we drop I.P.L Malinga Ambani and give a chance to Tharindu Kaushal??????????????????????

Posted by   on (November 11, 2012, 14:30 GMT)

Sri Lanka also had to contend with the wet ball, since we bowled after the rain interruption with a wet outfield. only difference is Kiwis makes a lot more fuss out of it. Youngsters should get a game tomorrow

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