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Rediff.com  » Sports » In-form Kiwis take on formidable Lankans on Friday

In-form Kiwis take on formidable Lankans on Friday

Last updated on: August 12, 2010 15:29 IST

It promises to be a cracking contest between bat and ball

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After a spectacular win against India under their belt, New Zealand will look to continue their sparkling show when they clash with hosts Sri Lanka in the second match of the cricket tri-series in Dambulla on Friday.

Sri Lanka are a tough opponent at home but the way New Zealand crushed India in the series-opener, the hosts must have re-worked their strategy against the Black Caps.

Both teams have some exciting pacemen in their ranks and if the conditions favour them again, it promises to be a cracking contest between ball and bat.

A second consecutive win will enhance New Zealand's chances of making the summit clash but an in-form Sri Lanka would rely on its players to make a winning start.


Image: New Zealand captain Ross Taylor takes strike during a practice session in Dambulla on Thursday
Photographs: Reuters
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Lankan line-up populated with classy batsmen

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The Kiwi top-order was rocked by the Indian pace battery in helpful conditions and considering that Sri Lanka have a more lethal fast bowling combination in Lasith Malinga, Chamara Kapugedara and Nuwan Kulasekara, the New Zealand batsmen have a tough task at hand.

Since Angelo Mathews is another good fast bowling option he is likely to make the final XI and the hosts may prefer impressive Suraj Randiv over Ajantha Mendis for the spin slot.

Sri Lanka's batting line up is full of dependable and classy batsmen led by skipper Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene and Thilan Samaraweera.

The only thing they have to worry about is that the team will have to switch to ODI mode after playing Test series against India.


Image: Kumar Sangakkara

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Pacemen are added asset for New Zealand

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New Zealand had claimed that they are in better shape for the series due to playing match-like situations during the warm-up games and they proved that with the first outing.

Thrust into captaincy, Ross Taylor led the side from front with a classy 95 against India and the team need senior players such as Martin Guptill and Jacob Oram to contribute with the bat if they have to go 2-0 up.

A mix of youth and experience, Black Caps' biggest asset is their fiery pace department.

Daryll Tuffey, Kyle Mills and Oram demolished the strong Indian line up and if the trio can repeat their show, New Zealand will be placed comfortably in the series.

Teams (From):

Sri Lanka: Kumar Sangakkara (c), Mahela Jayawardene (vc), Tillakaratne Dilshan, Dilhara Fernando, Rangana Herath, Suraj Randiv, Chamara Kapugedera, Nuwan Kulasekara, Lasith Malinga, Angelo Mathews, Ajantha Mendis, Thisara Perera, Thilan Samaraweera, Chamara Silva, Upul Tharanga.

New Zealand: Ross Taylor (capt), Kyle Mills (vice-capt), Grant Elliott, Martin Guptill, Gareth Hopkins (wk), Nathan McCullum, Andy McKay, Jacob Oram, Jeetan Patel, Peter Ingram, Tim Southee, Scott Styris, Daryl Tuffey, BJ Watling, Kane Williamson.


Image: New Zealand's Daryl Tuffey bowls in the nets during a practice session in Dambulla on Thursday

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