Stephen Fleming, the New Zealand captain, believes Sri Lanka's top order is a weakness that his bowlers can expose during the first semi-final in Jamaica on Tuesday. New Zealand should be strengthened by the return of Shane Bond and Jacob Oram, who missed the Super Eights loss to Australia, for the game and they will be valuable assets on what is expected to be a bouncy Sabina Park pitch.
"We feel if we can get through their top order we can keep it to a [manageable] score," Fleming told AFP. New Zealand's under-manned attack went for 348 runs against Australia during their 215-run defeat at Grenada.
Oram, who has recovered from a heel injury, said the surface would be better suited to New Zealand than the one at Grenada, where they lost to Sri Lanka by six wickets during the Super Eights. "The Jamaican pitch is going to have a bit more bounce and seam than we've experienced everywhere else in the West Indies, so I know a few of the guys at the top of the bowling order are keen to extract some sort of bounce," Oram said.
"If that's the case hopefully we can expose them. I'm not saying they can't handle the bounce but, like a lot of the subcontinental teams, it's pretty foreign to them."
Oram also said he had no doubts about his own fitness. "I'll be fine," he said. "It's my left foot, my landing foot and that's the one that's gets a lot of stress put through it when I'm bowling. Three games in six days last week sent it over the edge. Rest was the potion that we needed."