Forgot Password

 

Register

 

Create your Connect ID

This will allow you to login to all DStv websites & applications




or
Login using
x

Email Reset

 




Loading...
Loading Live Scoring...
*All times CAT (GMT+2)

Cricket | Champions Trophy

Mike Hesson © Gallo Images

Kiwis geared for Sri Lanka's spin trial



New Zealand are preparing to face a spin barrage from Sri Lanka when the two sides meet in the Champions Trophy in Cardiff on Sunday.

New Zealand go into the tournament after a morale-boosting 2-1 one-day series win over hosts England, but Brendon McCullum's side know Sri Lanka will throw up new challenges.

"We could conceivably be facing 30-35 overs of spin," Black Caps coach Mike Hesson said ahead of the group A game. "We need to be proactive against it."

Sri Lanka's spin attack includes four capable tweakers in Sachitra Senanayake, Jeevan Mendis, Rangana Herath and Tillakaratne Dilshan. Unorthodox slow bowler Ajantha Mendis was not picked for the tournament.

With sling-arm fast bowler Lasith Malinga and steady seamer Nuwan Kulasekara also in the ranks, Sri Lanka have their options covered for what are expected to be good batting conditions in Cardiff.

India and South Africa played a high-scoring match at the same venue on Thursday, with the Proteas making 305 in reply to a commanding 331-7 by Mahendra Singh Dhoni's World Cup champions.

With Australia and England the other two teams in their group, both New Zealand and Sri Lanka know a victory in the first match assumes greater significance.

Two teams from each group will advance to the semifinals, making it almost mandatory to win at least two of the three games to make the grade.

"It's as close to a knock-out competition as you can get," Hesson said. "We are certainly not thinking two weeks ahead."

Sri Lankan captain Angelo Mathews, leading his country for the first time in a major competition, agreed that winning the first fixture was important.

"You would want to win every game you play, but in a format like this it is important to get a good start," he said.

Sri Lanka will be desperate to overcome the heartache of losing four title clashes in recent years - during the 50-over World Cups in 2007 and 2011 and the World Twenty20 in 2009 and 2012.

They have not enjoyed a good run in the Champions Trophy, failing to make the finals of the last three editions, even though they were joint-winners with India at home in Colombo 2002.

Sri Lanka will be encouraged by the fact they have won 10 of their last 11 completed 50-over games against New Zealand, including the last six in a row.

Sri Lanka's batting will once again revolve around three seasoned former captains, Mahela Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakkara and Dilshan, who must all fire to protect the fragile lower order.

Dilshan will have as his opening partner an exciting 22-year-old left-hander, Kusal Perera, who averages 55.33 in six one-day innings so far with a strike-rate of 84.26.

Perera plundered the Indian attack for seven fours and three sixes during his innings of 82 off 94 balls in a warm-up match in Birmingham on June 1, lifting his side to 333-5 in 50 overs.

But Sri Lanka still lost that game with one over to spare as India rode Dinesh Karthik's unbeaten 106 and Virat Kohli's 144 to a five-wicket victory.

Shop

The Proteas
20 Years, 20 Landmark Matches by Neil Manthorp
R171.38
Jacques Kallis
South Africa has produced more great all-rounders than any other country
R176.00
Bouch
Through my eyes
R180.40
Gunn & Moore Epic 808 DXM Cricket Bat
The Gunn and Moore Epic DXM 808 Harrow bat has been carefully developed so that you can get the most from your game
R1919.00


Comments

More expert analysis and opinion from Sport24
The opinions expressed by Sport24 experts and bloggers are theirs alone, and do not necessarily represent those of SuperSport

Live Video Streaming

The Carling Black Label Cup - Kaizer Chiefs v Orlando Pirates
Athletics - Day 4 - Session 1
Diving - Men's 1m Springboard Preliminary
Netball - Australia v South Africa

Sports Talk



Mpumelelo Mbangwa
Proteas were excellent but spin still a worry
Watching the Proteas in the testing and historically difficult-to-overcome conditions of Sri Lanka...

Haze's Comment
Home pitch advantage is crucial
I hope that groundsmen around South Africa watched the Test series in Sri Lanka. No-one prepares...

Kepler Wessels
Well done, Hashim and AB
The South African cricket team had a magnificent tour of Sri Lanka. The team will reflect on their...

Neil in Sri Lanka
Week 4
It is patently absurd to suggest that this Test ‘save’, in Colombo, was better than Adelaide 2012...

Stiaan van Zyl
Sri Lanka Diary
It has been an absorbing few days. We are so focused on this test that there has not been any...

Faf du Plessis
A tough day at the office
I’m writing this after a tough day at the office on day one of the second test in Colombo. Mahela...