More international cricket is on tap this week as New Zealand hosts Sri Lanka in the 50-over format while South Africa and the West Indies clash in T20Is.
Here is a look at some of this week’s matches with odds from BetXchange.
New Zealand VS Sri Lanka – Hagley Oval, Christchurch
When: Tuesday, March 28
New Zealand has been all over Sri Lanka in this series. The first Test was a battle, with the hosts winning by two tickets in a high-scoring contest. The second test was much more formulaic, with New Zealand crushing the tourists by an innings and 58 runs after reaching 580/4 declared in their first innings. Kane Williamson 0 as so often – was the star of the show as he went for 215 from 296 balls.
It was almost that the result of that second Test bled into the first of the three ODIs that the teams will play that took place on Saturday. New Zealand posted a respectable – but far from unreachable – 274 after 49.3 overs. Sri Lanka never settled into their chase, seeing wickets skilled left and right as they were bowled out for 76 inside 20 overs.
Surely it cannot be that one-sided again. This was Sri Lanka’s lowest-ever total against the Black Caps in ODIs and New Zealand’s biggest-ever win in the format over Sri Lanka. One change is that New Zealand opener Finn Allen – a super talent still working on his pacing in ODIs – departs the series as he returns to his IPL franchise. It gives other openers a chance to impress, with Chad Bowes and Tom Blundell as the likely openers.
New Zealand doesn’t lose at this venue, and Sri Lanka has done nothing in the last six scheduled days of cricket to suggest that will change here. Henry Shipley has the hot hand with the ball after taking five wickets (for the first time) in the first ODI, so his odds of 6/1 as top bowler are intriguing.
South Africa VS West Indies – Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg
When: Tuesday, March 28
This is the final match of the Windies’ tour of South Africa, which began at the end of February. It is hard to see how this 3rd T20I follows up a 2nd T20I that broke records on a flat track that begged the ball to be hit.
Hit it both teams did. Quinton de Kock scored a 15-ball 50 on his way to a 44-ball 100. South Africa became the first team in T20 I history to get past 100 runs inside of the powerplay. Charles Jonson scored 118 from 46 balls for the hosts as they batted first. The Windies – never a team afraid to slog – also tied the record for the number of sixes in a T20I.
They hit 22 sixes and managed to lose while doing so, as the Proteas ran down their 258 with an over to spare. It was the highest successful run chase in T20I history and shows the type of batting form that South Africa is in. I like the hosts to win again and close the tour with a T20I series win (the teams have one win each heading into the Johannesburg decider.)