What a contest we got on our hands! A semi-final spot at stake, former champions Sri Lanka take on New Zealand in a virtual knock-out match of the ICC World Twenty20 with the loser headed home.
What a contest we got on our hands! A semi-final spot at stake, former champions Sri Lanka take on New Zealand in a virtual knock-out match of the ICC World Twenty20 with the loser headed home. Both the sides are locked on four points each with three games played with the winner joining group leader, South Africa in the semi-finals. The Proteas have finished their Super 10 games and have qualified for the semi-finals with six points from four matches.
The Lankans came into the T20 World Cup high on confidence after winning the Asia Cup and then they recorded two consecutive wins – against South Africa and minnows Netherlands. The win against the Netherlands was the shortest successful run chase ever in Twenty20 Internationals, having completed in just five overs after the Dutch were bundled out for mere 39. However the Dinesh Chandimal-led side would lose the tie against the English by six wickets in a high scoring. Their inform batsman, Mahela Jayawardene would look to add more runs after he retires from T20. Kusal Perera will be the man to watch out for. Lasith Malinga will lead the team in the absence of Dinesh Chandimal, since the latter is suspended for slow over-rate in the England game.
The Kiwis led by captain Brendon McCullum will look to bank on his batsmen, Ross Taylor, Martin Guptill and co. to deliver the goods against the high-flying Sri Lankans. Their pinch hitter, Corey Anderson will be favoured to clear the boundaries at will. The all-rounder has not played a big innings so far and the Sri Lankans would do well if they can keep him quiet.
Brendon McCullum is the only player to have scored 2000 runs in T20 Internationals, a feat he achieved during his knock of 65 against the Netherlands. He is also the only player to have scored two centuries in T20 Internationals and New Zealand’s fortunes will depend a lot on him.
With two big nations set to clash, expect good strokes, big sixes and great catches too! The toss, again remains a crucial part of the match and the skippers from either sides will look to bat first in order to maintain the pressure on the opposition. It will be exciting to see Lasith Malinga as a captain and will need the likes of Mahela Jayawardene and Kumara Sangakkara to ease him out.
Sri Lanka: Lasith Malinga, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Rangana Herath, Mahela Jayawardene, Nuwan Kulasekara, Suranga Lakmal, Angelo Mathews, Ajantha Mendis, Kusal Perera, Thisara Perera, Seekkuge Prasanna, Kumar Sangakkara, Sachithra Senanayake, Lahiru Thirimanne.
New Zealand: Brendon McCullum (capt.), Corey Anderson, Trent Boult, Anton Devcich, Martin Guptill, Ronnie Hira, Mitchell McClenaghan, Nathan McCullum, Kyle Mills, Colin Munro, Jimmy Neesham, Luke Ronchi, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Kane Williamson.