Sri Lanka vs New Zealand 1st ODI Live Cricket Score SL vs NZ Live
New Zealand tour of Sri Lanka 2012: SL and NZ will take on each other today in the first of the five-match One Day International (ODI) series at Pallekele. This is an extremely important series for both the sides as they are going through a rebuilding phase and gaining an early advantage in the battle is going to be crucial.
The weather at Pallekele has been a major issue over the last week, with the only T20 International of the tour between the two sides already washed out due to rain. The home team had a clear advantage in Tuesday’s fixture, chasing merely 75 runs, having restricted the Kiwis to just 74 for the loss of seven wickets in 14 overs, before the rain intervened.
We can just hope that rain stays away from Pallekele, Colombo and Hambantota in the coming few days, so that we can have a complete series between two fighting units.
After being rested from the only T20 encounter, Mahela Jayawardene and Lasith Malinga are back in the reckoning and are likely to play important roles for their side.
Sri Lanka’s newly appointed T20 captain, Angelo Mathews, is happy to be playing under Jayawardene and believes that he can learn a lot by closely monitoring the seasoned batsman’s leadership.
“Working under Mahela is a big learning curve because he is the best captain Sri Lanka has ever had. It is a privilege to be his vice-captain. The selectors thought that I was ready for it the captaincy so they gave me the job. I am excited,” said the all-rounder.
Despite the emergence of a number of young players over the last couple of years, Sri Lanka still rely on their three experienced batsmen, Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakkara and Tillakaratne Dilshan. If the Black Caps are able to limit the trio, they will have a great chance of dismantling the home side, who look a touch thin in their late-middle order batting.
In order to enhance their bowlers’ capacity to deliver the goods on the Asian pitches, New Zealand have hired the services of Chaminda Vaas, the former Sri Lankan fast bowler, who will help the newly appointed bowling coach, Shane Bond.
The Black Caps’ head coach, Mike Hesson is excited about working with the experienced cricketer and expects his bowlers to learn the trade of bowling on flat tracks.
“We wanted someone with experience in the subcontinent to work with our young bowlers. [Chaminda] Vaas will work alongside bowling coach Shane Bond during the Tests,” Hesson said last week. “Vaas' extensive playing experience in local conditions will provide valuable input, as we plan and prepare for the Test series.”
New Zealand’s senior batsmen, Ross Taylor and Brendon McCullum, looked in superb form during the recently-concluded ICC World T20 2012. The visitors will be looking at the seasoned duo to take the responsibility on their shoulders once again, allowing the youngsters to bat around them. Taylor and McCullum have added pressure in the absence of Martin Guptill, who has been rested for the limited-over series and will join the squad for the Tests.
One can never write off the Kiwis but Sri Lanka will surely start the series as clear favourites because of the home advantage and a better balance in both batting and bowling departments; however, the fans can expect a close series if the Kiwi batsmen can cope with the wily Lankan spinners.