Series Winner Odds:
Two sides looking to pick up a T20 series win face off in the sub-continent as Sri Lanka host New Zealand. Following a tied Test series between the two sides in August, attention now turns to the shorter format of the game with both sides possessing strong squads. In home conditions, Sri Lanka are well known for suffocating opposition batsmen with their spinners and with plenty of firepower in their batting ranks too – they are a tough proposition for any visiting side. For the Kiwis, it will be the first time they have played white ball cricket since their devastating defeat to England in the 50 over World Cup final in July and they will be keen to bounce back here. Their side looks tailor made for limited overs cricket and they will want to put down a marker in this series with the T20 World Cup on the horizon in Australia next year.
Venue: Pallekele Stadium, Kandy.
Date: Sunday 1st September 2019
1st Match Winner Odds:
Sri Lanka go into this series ranked as the 8th best T20 side in the world and they will see these matches as an opportunity to climb the rankings. Talismanic bowler Lasith Malinga comes back into the squad as captain after having sat out the Test matches whilst emerging talent Niroshan Dickwella has been promoted to vice-captain. The Sri Lankans lost their last three T20 matches in South Africa and they will be hoping to make amends here in home conditions.
New Zealand’s depth in the white ball format is envied across the cricketing world and they will once again go into this series as heavy favourites. Kane Williamson and Trent Boult are taking a break from the series with Tim Southee being installed as captain. Ish Sodhi, Mitchell Santner and Todd Astle will provide a three pronged spin attack for the Kiwis whilst the likes of Scott Kuggeleijn and Daryl Mitchell will be eager to impress at international level.
Both sides possess big hitting batsmen and with the pitch at Kandy notoriously slow, runs could be flowing for both sides in this match.
Newly installed vice-captain Niroshan Dickwella is one of the most exciting prospects in world cricket and the wicket-keeper batsmen will be keen to show what he can do here.
Few bowlers in world cricket possess the skill set that Lasith Malinga does and the Sri Lankan talisman rolled back the years to put in some incredible performances at the World Cup this year.
Opening batsmen Martin Guptill has spoken of his mixed emotions following New Zealand’s World Cup heartache and he will be keen to get out on the field and let his batting do the talking.
Spinner Mitchell Santner has become one of the first names on the team sheet in recent times for the Kiwis and his natural variation will help him cause problems for the Sri Lankan batsmen here.
This should be an excellent game between two strong sides with the spin-friendly conditions proving as a leveller. New Zealand are canny operators at this level however and should have too much for the Sri Lankans here.
Both sides will certainly fancy their chances going into this series but with so much fire power in the ranks, New Zealand should always have enough to get over the line in any game they play.