Match 3 of the ongoing ICC World Cup 2019 will see New Zealand and Sri Lanka clash against each other on June 1 (Saturday) at the Sophia Gardens in Cardiff. Meanwhile, the tournament has got off to a flier with two cracker of a game in the opening two days.
New Zealand will look to get off to a winning start
Sri Lanka, the most consistent sides between 2007 to 2015, having reached five ICC finals and two semifinals, have come to this World Cup with minimal expectations. The team have struggled to get going, and a change in the leadership from Lasith Malinga to Dimuth Karunaratne has had them in splits. However, they will hope that their star players will stand up and deliver at the biggest stage to stun a confident New Zealand. A five-wicket haul from Malinga and a good knock from Angelo Mathews and with the Karunaratne leading the team from the front can undoubtedly change the team’s structure.
On the other hand, New Zealand looks calm and composed coming into their first game. They had blown hot and cold in their warm-up matches but have enough firepowers to dismantle this Sri Lanka team. Tom Latham who missed the practice matches will be available for selection while Tim Southee and Trent Boult will share the new ball. Meanwhile, the onus will be on Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor in the middle order to keep the batting unit going.
Date and Venue: June 1 (Saturday) from 3:00 PM IST, at Sophia Gardens in Cardiff
Predicted Playing XI:
New Zealand: Martin Guptill, Colin Munro, Kane Williamson (c), Ross Taylor, Tom Latham (wk), James Neesham, Colin de Grandhomme, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Ish Sodhi, Trent Boult
Sri Lanka: Dimuth Karunaratne (c), Lahiru Thirimanne, Kusal Mendis, Kusal Perera (wk), Angelo Mathews, Dhananjaya de Silva, Jeevan Mendis, Thisara Perera, Isuru Udana, Suranga Lakmal, Lasith Malinga
The temperatures will hover around 20-22 degree Celsius. Besides, there will be a significant cloud cover during the game time, which will be assisting the bowlers in the early overs.
In the last few matches, Sophia Gardens have produced flat wickets which have attracted a lot of runs. The warm-up games also witnessed 300+ scores in the warm-up matches. New Zealand and Sri Lanka have some hard-hitters in their ranks and will look to rack up a good total on the board.
Sri Lanka have come to this World Cup with very less expectations as the team is going through a transition. Although the Lankans lead New Zealand in head to head encounter by 6 to 4 in World Cups, they have little confidence to overhaul a Kiwi side which has looked good.
Meanwhile, Kane Williamson & Co absolutely dominated Sri Lanka when both teams met each other earlier this year, and this time also New Zealand are the clear cut winners. Dimuth Karunaratne will desperately want for a shocker on Saturday, but it is unlikely to happen going by the Black Caps recent form.
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