About the Match
New Zealand overcame the difficulty of chasing a target in the rain-affected match yesterday as they defeated Sri Lanka by 4 wickets by the D/L method and took the lead 1-0 in the 3-match ODI series against the home team. Having posted a decent score of 138 runs from 23 overs in the first innings, Sri Lanka failed to restrict the Kiwi batsmen, who went past the required target of 198 and scored 203 runs. The Kiwis showed great determination and a will to succeed and they now look to seal the series with a win again; the home team will not take this defeat lying low and will definitely strike back with all guns blazing.
Dilshan and Sangakkara posted an unbeaten 126-run partnership amidst delays due to rain; the duo exhibited their batting prowess and took the total to 138 in the shortened innings. The bowling unit started out strong with Kulasekara making early in-roads into the Kiwi batting line-up; taking 2 wickets in quick succession and taking 2 more later on; Senanayake struck soon after claiming 2 more wickets. The home team looked confident of a win but the other bowlers couldn’t remove the hard-hitting Kiwi opener, Latham and gave away too many runs in the middle. They failed to break the partnership of Latham and Ronchi and later on that of Nathan and Neesham, who hit the winning runs and took the match away from the Lankans. The bowling unit needs to get tighter and the batsmen will have to sharpen their skills in the upcoming match to level the series.
Though the bowlers failed to break the partnership of Dilshan and Sangakkara; the batsmen, led by Latham and Ronchi, with great support from McCullum in the end, successfully chased the target and won the match for the team. The young Tom Latham scored his first ODI fifty and posted a magnificent 86 off 68 balls, holding his nerves together when the rest of the top order fell miserably. He partnered with Munro and Elliot earlier on, but it was with Ronchi that he added 93 runs on board, before Ronchi fell 1 run short of his half century. Latham departed soon after and then it was up to Nathan and Neesham to continue the chase and they successfully did so with the former blazing away 32 runs from just 9 balls, thus safely taking the team home. The Kiwis are charged up with this comeback and are looking forward to sealing the series with a better performance here.
The upcoming match is crucial for Sri Lanka as they look to salvage their honor with a win here and leveling the series; however, the recent win by the Kiwis has boosted their morale and they will put up a tough fight against the home team. The Lankans have a strong side and with the home advantage could definitely win this match; and the Kiwis have come back strongly, but are still unlikely to repeat their winning performance and take the title home, solely because of strong Sri Lankan unit playing at home.
Sri Lanka, 1.40 @ William Hill
The Kiwi side is full of talented players, but they still do not have the experience to thrive in Sri Lankan conditions. With experience and advantage of playing at home, I think Sri Lanka will be the team to produce top batsman.
Sri Lanka, 1.50 @ William Hill