T20 world Cup Super 8: Sri Lanka vs New Zealand Live Streaming
The ICC World T20 2012 in Sri Lanka promises to hit greater heights as hosts Sri Lanka take on the black caps, New Zealand in the first game of the super eights in Pallekele on Thursday, September 27th.
After the tournament got off to a rather sluggish start owing to the inclement weather and some unusual dead rubber games in the group stages, there will be little margin for error now as the best in the business go head to head to contest for a place in the semi-finals. Although both Sri Lanka and New Zealand have lost one game each in the group stages to South Africa and Pakistan respectively, there were plenty of positives for both teams in their respective group games and they will be desperate to put the pieces together and get off to a winning start on Thursday.
The Lankan lions lost a massively truncated 7 over a side game to the Proteas in their last outing which shouldn't concern the think tank too much as they prepare for this contest. Tillakaratne Dilshan has been woefully out of form recently but should still open the batting probably with skipper Mahela Jayawardene, who has carved out a niche for himself at that position in limited overs cricket. Young Dilshan Munaweera has not taken the world by storm with his couple of opportunities at the top of the order which could open the doors for the more established Dinesh Chandimal on Thursday, given that its crunch time in the tournament. Kumar Sangakkara will pick himself at No.4 while Angelo Matthews, Lahiru Thirimanne and Jeevan Mendis are likely to make a pretty decent lower middle order to follow him.
The bowling has found some more penetration with the return to form of Ajantha Mendis, who was rested against South Africa but the iffy form of their trump card Lasith Malinga still remains a concern. Both of them are expected to play on Thursday though and are likely to be supported by Nuwan Kulasekara and Thisara Perera to make up the playing XI.
The Kiwis, despite losing a close game to Pakistan in their last group stage encounter, have looked a solid outfit thus far in the tournament. Rob Nicol has been decent enough at the top as the opener, having gotten them off to decent starts and he will most likely be partnered by Martin Guptill, who might just make it back in time after suffering an injury set back before the last group match. If not though, we might see either James Franklin or Kane Williamson do the job as a stop-gap measure. Ross Taylor and Brendon McCullum add both flair and experience to the middle order at Nos. 4 and 5 while Franklin, Jacob Oram will make up the lower middle order for the black caps.
Bowling all-rounders Nathan McCullum and Daniel Vettori will provide great variety and depth to the squad being different slow bowling options while the likes of Kyle Mills and Tim Southee will lead the new ball attack. This side bats deep until No.9 and has plenty of variety in bowling to surprise the Lankans at home.
Sri Lanka: T Dilshan, M Jayawardene, D Chandimal, K Sangakkara, L Thirimanne, A Matthews, J Mendis, T Perera, N Kulasekara, A Mendis, L Malinga
New Zealand: M Guptill, R Nicol, K Williamson, B McCullum, R Taylor, J Franklin, J Oram, D Vettori, N McCullum, K Mills, T Southee
Players to watch:
M Jayawardene: The Sri Lankan skipper has not played an innings of note oflate, opening in a big game like this might just suit his style of play.
R Taylor: Mahela's opposite number and the black caps skipper Ross Taylor is capable of winning a match singlehandedly for his team, a feat he nearly pulled off against Pakistan in the previous game before being run out.
Pitch: There is rain around in Pallekele but if the weather stays clear and the previous games on this ground are anything to go by, this wicket will have runs aplenty in it.
Match Prediction: Sri Lanka will make use of home advantage to get past New Zealand.