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|Dhananjaya de Silva||1||19||0||0||5.26|
|Colin de Grandhomme||4.0||1||8||1||2.00|
|Dhananjaya de Silva||109||148||16||2||73.65|
|Colin de Grandhomme||17.0||3||35||1||2.06|
|Colin de Grandhomme||83||77||5||5||107.79|
|Dhananjaya de Silva||5.0||1||10||0||2.00|
A 2-0 win for the Kiwis over Sri Lanka would have pushed them to the top of the table, toppling India from the pinnacle in the process. However, a loss in the first match of the series has not only washed away all their such plans but has also pushed them behind in the series. In their first test of the series, nothing went their way apart from winning the toss as Sri Lanka cruised past them to register a significant, unanticipated win. The Kiwis will be looking to draw level when they meet hosts in the second test of the series which is to be played at Colombo's P Sara Oval from Thursday, 22nd August. New Zealand will be feeling Deja Vu as the same thing happened to them ten years ago where Sri Lanka hammered them at Galle, and they then went onto script a historic win in the second match of the series at P Sara Oval. They'll be hoping to put up a similar performance in the next game, and for that, they'd undoubtedly have to put up a much-improved performance.
Sri Lanka will be pumped with their massive win in the first test and will be looking to take the momentum into the next match of the series. Unlike their performances in the limited-overs format in recent times, their test performances have been robust.
They did well in the first match as Dimuth Karunaratne, their skipper, led from the front to nail-down the total of 268 with significant ease. Chasing any total over 200 has never been an easy job to do in the history of test cricket, and the way Karunarate carried the team to the target was commendable.
They'd like to keep the winning combination going, and unless some last-minute injury shows up, we are likely to see them field an unchanged squad in the second test of the series. Akila Danajaya's action was reported suspect for the second time this year, and although he is allowed to take part in the upcoming fixture, this might play on his mind when he takes his delivery stride. Alongside him, it was the effort of Lasith Embuldeniya and Dhananjaya de Silva that kept them ahead in the first match, and the management will be looking up to them in the second match as well.
While Sri Lanka have plenty of positives going for them, they haven't been a consistent side over the years. So often they've gone down after being in a position to dictate terms, and it could happen again as well. Their recent record at P Sara Oval isn't that good as they've won only two out of the last seven matches they've played here. All in all, Sri Lanka will still be a tough team to face in the upcoming game, especially with the momentum they have, and beating them isn't going to be an easy task.
Dimuth Karunaratne, HDRL Thirimanne, Kusal Mendis , Angelo Mathews, Kusal Perera, Dhananjaya de Silva, Niroshan Dickwella, Dilruwan Perera, Suranga Lakmal, Lasith Embuldeniya, Lahiru Kumara.
New Zealand are known to be fighters in International Cricket. It was apparent when they defended a small total against Indians in the semi-final of the World Cup and also in the finals wherein they almost fetched a win after being at the receiving end in the first innings. They did the same back in 2012 as well where they bounced back in the test series against Sri Lanka with a remarkable 167-run win in the second test.
It was then the effort of Ross Taylor, and Kane Williamson with the bat who both scored scintillating hundreds before Trent Boult and Tim Southee wreaked havoc on the Islanders. They will be looking to do something similar this time around as well, and they will be looking up to the same people to deal with the damage.
New Zealand had a little to take home from their poor performance in the first Test of the series. They were outplayed in all three departments of the game and eventually ended up on the wrong side of the result. The poor performance from their top-order was one of the biggest reasons for their loss, which was later on helped by lack of penetrative bowling by their spinners.
In the second test, however, they will be looking to put up a better performance with their batsmen better acquainted to deal with Sri Lankan bowlers on the surfaces which are known to assist spin bowling. Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor are good players of spin bowling and its just a matter of time before the duo finds its rhythm back.
As far as the team combination is concerned, we are unlikely to see them make any significant changes to their lineup. However, they might consider bringing in Mitchell Santner for Todd Astle to beef up their batting lineup without losing out on bowling strength.
With only improvement possible from how they performed in the first test, New Zealand won't be as easy to defeat in the second test as they were in the first test.
Jeet Raval, TWM Latham, KS Williamson, Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, BJ Watling, Colin de Grandhomme, TG Southee, W Somerville, Ajaz Patel, TA Boult.
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Sri Lanka exhibited high resilience and grit in the first match as they nailed down a tricky looking chase with considerable ease. Also, it reiterated that their win over the Proteas was no fluke and they could be a force to deal with in the longest version of the game. On paper, New Zealand have a better batting unit, but the home advantage for Sri Lanka's nullifies that factor. Despite Kane Williamson failing in both the innings, it was a remarkable effort from the visitors to post a good total in both the innings. Sri Lanka have the advantage of playing at home, but with one match already gone, the Kiwi batsmen will be better acquainted to deal with the conditions as well as the Sri Lankan bowlers. Considering that as well as other reasons mentioned above, we think that New Zealand will emerge triumphant in what is expected to be yet another humdinger of a cricket match.
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