About the Match
Taking a 1-0 series lead against Sri Lanka after winning the first match by 3 wickets, New Zealand gears up for the 2nd ODI at Hamilton on 15th Jan; the visitors will try their level best to square up and keep their campaign alive. The Kiwis have shown an all-round performance and look amped up about their chances here while Sri Lanka continues to try out different combinations before the World Cup challenge next month. It will be a fierce contest, provided the visitors manage to come out all guns blazing and withstand the Kiwi pace attack to keep the battle on.
Mitchell McClenaghan achieved a superb figure of 4-36 with the ball, outwitting the likes of Thirimanne, Mendis, Jayawardene and Perera with 3 wickets taken in the 47th over; Adam Milne is in great form as he started the demolition early on by claiming 2 wickets while Anderson and McCullum provided support with a wicket each. The bowlers restricted Sri Lanka to a lowly 218 runs, which the batsmen, led by the captain’s heroic knock of 51 off 22 and Anderson’s amazing 81 off 96 deliveries, achieved with 7 overs to spare. With Williamson ruled out of the next two matches due to injury, Tom Latham might be pushed up the order to give company to Guptill, who will necessarily have to give his best and perform better in the coming matches. Luke Ronchi and Grant Elliot also need to pull up their socks and provide stability in the middle order; Brendon has been in top shape and will definitely lead the attack on the Lankans provided the bowlers continue with their good efforts.
Their efforts have not been up to the mark and they will need to make some serious amends in preparations for the World Cup; youngsters like Karunaratne and Thisara Perera must shoulder the responsibilities with the bat and provide support to Sangakkara and Jayawardene, who have been contributing well in getting the runs on board. The latter scored a mighty 104 off 107 balls in the first ODI but hardly got any support from the others except Thirimanne and Mendis, who scored 23 runs each to get to 218 runs; this wasn’t enough against a resurgent Kiwi batting line-up and they must find new ways to startle the opponents. On the bowling front, Nuwan Kulasekara and Senanayake were astounding as they each took 2 wickets giving away only 43 runs in 10 overs while Dilshan contributed well with 2 wickets; Eranga also took a wicket but the team might try out other combinations to get better results in the upcoming match. Overall, they have the resources and determination to succeed but will have to strategize well against the hosts for a favorable result.
The Kiwis have dominated the Lankans throughout until now but with injury issues, they will certainly make some changes to the squad that will test their skills as a team. Although New Zealand had the psychological advantage with a win in the first match, we feel Sri Lanka will bounce back and win this match to level up.
Sri Lanka, 2.37 @ Bet365