About the Match
Leading the 7-match ODI series 2-1 against Sri Lanka, New Zealand is upbeat about its chances to clinch the title as they emerge to be a strong unit giving an all-round performance in all departments of the game. The Kiwis won the 4th ODI by 4 wickets and 11 balls remaining to take the lead and will now face the islanders on 23rd Jan at Dunedin for the 5th ODI. Sri Lanka had won the 2nd ODI but after a washout of the 3rd match, they couldn’t continue with their winning momentum on Tuesday; it will be interesting to see how the contest progresses from here on as the hosts are eager to keep the upper hand throughout.
Kane Williamson’s superb knock of 103 off 107 set up a confident victory for the team in the 4th ODI against the Lankans to give them the lead in the series; although he had failed to fire in the first ODI, he had given good support to McCullum to set up a 63-run partnership for the 2nd wicket to build a foundation for the win. The captain is in good nick with the bat, as seen in the opening match wherein he blasted away 51 off 22 balls and scoring 117 runs in the second ODI; Anderson continues to give an all-round performance with bat and ball, scoring 47 off 44 in the previous match and posting a brilliant 81 off 96 in the first to take the team safely home. Grant Elliot, Ronchi, Guptill and Taylor are also in good form and will continue to be key assets in the Kiwi batting line-up. On the bowling front, they have great variety in pace and spin; McClenaghan had taken 4-36 in the first match while Tim Southee with 3-59 was the most successful in the last match. Milne, Anderson, Boult and Vettori provide great depth and together with others like McCullum and Williamson, this squad is a deadly combination for any opposition.
Jayawardene continues to do his magic with the bat, blasting away sixes and fours at will against the Kiwi pace attack; his 104 off 107 helped the team get to a decent 218 runs in the first ODI but his efforts went in vain. Sangakkara did well in the last match, scoring 76 off 83 and along with Dilshan had set up a 102-run stand for the 2nd wicket; however, with others down the line not contributing enough, the batting line-up seems to be losing the plot resulting in defeat. Chasing 249 runs in the 2nd ODI, Dilshan’s spirited 116 off 127 brought victory to the team but they need to learn and sustain the momentum. Players like Mathews, Perera, Karunaratne, Thirimanne and Mendis must shoulder the responsibilities more seriously; on the bowling front, although Herath, Senanayake, Kulasekara and others have been taking wickets regularly, they aren’t able to contain the Kiwis. They definitely have the required talent and experience, which they must use well to give a better performance from here on.
While Sri Lanka will definitely try to use its resources better and make a comeback, we feel that the Kiwis are much better placed in terms of performance as well as the psychological advantage to continue with their winning momentum on Friday.
Sri Lanka, 1.57 @ TitanBet