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|Dhananjaya de Silva||10||12||1||0||83.33|
Its finally down to one last contest between New Zealand and Sri Lanka before the latter fly to Australia to face them in a test series. It hasn't been a fruitful tour so far for the Islanders and they'll be hoping for a change in their fortunes with the change in format. The two teams are set to lock horns in the only T20 scheduled to be played on 11th January at Eden Park, Auckland. In the two longer formats of the game, such has been the disparity between the two sides that despite New Zealand making so many mistakes, they've emerged triumphant by significant margins on all three occasions. Sri Lanka will have a better chance in the shortest version of the game and we expect a close contest in the only T20 between the two sides.
Having won the Test and ODI legs of the tour, New Zealand will be keen to try out some youngsters and give rest to their senior players. Kane Williamson has already been rested and Tim Southee will lead the side in his absence.
The Kiwis have been super-dominant in the two concluded legs of the tour and despite the absence of a couple of key players, they do not look short in any department. With Kane Williamson absent, swashbuckling batsman, Glenn Phillips, is likely to get slotted at number three in the batting order.
Henry Nicholls had just one fifty in from his nine most-recent completed outings prior to the last match, but a smashing century in the third game would have immensely boosted his confidence. Ish Sodhi has been in tremendous form throughout the tour and in the absence of Trent Boult, Sodhi and Southee will have a bigger role to play. Overall, the Kiwis have been way ahead as compared to Sri Lanka so far and the absence of two players should make a big difference. If they continue to do as they've done in the series, Sri Lanka may well have to return home without a win to their name.
Martin Guptill, Colin Munro, Tim Seifert, Henry Nicholls, Ross Taylor, Mitchell Santner, Doug Bracewell, Scott Kuggeleijn, TG Southee, IS Sodhi, Lockie Ferguson.
Although Sri Lanka's batting didn't fire collectively in any of the three games, the most worrying thing for their management will be the way their bowlers have performed in the middle overs. Akila Dananjaya's absence has been telling for them as New Zealand have crossed the total of 300 thrice in three games.
While Ish Sodhi has been super-fluent on all the surfaces, picking five wickets in three matches, the wrist spinners from the island nation are yet to pick up a wicket. After getting hit for five sixes in an over, Thisara Perera's confidence with the ball isn't too high. It, however, hasn't really reflected on his batting as he's single-handedly smashed Kiwi bowlers out of the park twice in three occasions.
In the three matches gone in the series, there hasn't been much improvement in the performance of the Islanders. With World Cup well within sight, every game is important and they'll be looking to get some confidence with a win before flying to Australia to play the longest version of the game.
Niroshan Dickwella, Kusal Perera, Kusal Mendis , Thisara Perera, Dhananjaya de Silva, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Dasun Shanaka, Lasith Malinga, Lakshan Sandakan, Kasun Rajitha, Lahiru Kumara.
Sri Lanka have looked listless so far in the series, but they will certainly have a better chance in the shortest version of the game. With Jimmy Neesham's absent, who is out due to grade one hamstring injury, they'd certainly be breathing a sigh of relief and will be looking to get their first win of the tour. New Zealand, on the contrary, have looked in tremendous touch and despite the absence of a couple of players, they look well set to do the job. With all of their batsmen being amongst the runs in the series added to the advantage of playing at home, New Zealand are firm favorites to win the final match of the tour.
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