Embarking on the 41st match of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023, New Zealand and Sri Lanka prepare for a critical face-off in Bengaluru. With recent forms reading LLLLW and LLLWW respectively, both sides stand at a crossroads: New Zealand, eyeing a semi-final berth post-high-scoring thrillers, and Sri Lanka, clutching at the threads of inspiration after a turbulent run. As the weather looms unpredictably, so does the fate of their World Cup dreams and the coveted Champions Trophy qualification.
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Match Preview: New Zealand vs Sri Lanka, ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 41st Match
ICC World Cup • 9 Nov, 2023 • 3,563 Views • ⭐ 2.0
Written by Anand Swami
Chinnaswamy Stadium is renowned for its batter-friendly pitch, setting the stage for high scores and thrilling chases. Bowlers, whether pacers or spinners, may find some assistance from the surface but will face the daunting task of preventing boundaries due to the short boundaries. This dynamic often influences the captain's decision at the toss, with a preference for chasing, as the pitch conditions and boundary dimensions tend to favour teams batting second in the pursuit of a target.
Form Guide - New Zealand
New Zealand's recent One Day International (ODI) form reads LLLLW, with the single win punctuating a series of losses. The team's journey began with promise, securing four consecutive victories. However, the tide turned with two high-scoring encounters that they couldn't convert into wins. Despite posting formidable totals of 383 and 401, they faced an agonizingly narrow defeat to Australia and a surprising upset by Pakistan, sparked by a standout performance from Fakhar Zaman.
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Now, New Zealand finds itself in a precarious position where a victory against Sri Lanka is imperative to clinch the semi-final spot in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023. With Pakistan and Afghanistan's games still in the mix, New Zealand's advancement could hinge on net run rate calculations. The upcoming match is not just about the semi-final berth but also has implications for the Champions Trophy 2025 qualification.
Form Guide - Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka's form in the recent ODIs shows a pattern of LLLWW. The team has had a lacklustre tournament, with only intermittent successes overshadowed by a significant loss to Bangladesh. This defeat not only impacted their morale but also their standing, placing them at the brink of the Champions Trophy qualification cut-off, only ahead of the Netherlands on net run rate. Sri Lanka’s situation is fraught with ifs and buts; they need to win their upcoming matches and rely on the outcomes of Bangladesh, England, and the Netherlands' games.
The team has not managed to secure an ODI victory over New Zealand since 2015, indicating a challenging path ahead in this World Cup. In a tournament where the weather in Bengaluru could play a crucial role, Sri Lanka might find a silver lining in rain disruptions, but their fate largely depends on securing wins and favourable results from other matches to avoid elimination and secure a place in the Champions Trophy.
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Players to Watch
New Zealand's Rachin Ravindra has been a standout performer this World Cup with an impressive tally of 523 runs, marking him as the tournament's third-highest run-scorer. Remarkably, Ravindra's ODI career began just this year, with no matches under his belt at its start. Initially batting in the lower middle order, his fortunes changed dramatically when he scored a century early in the tournament.
Since then, Ravindra has solidified his position at the top of the order, boasting an average of 74.71, only second to Virat Kohli's extraordinary 108.60 among batters with a similar number of games. Notably, in his debut ODI innings against Sri Lanka, Ravindra made a promising 49 off 52 balls.
For Sri Lanka, Kusal Mendis has emerged as a key figure, especially after being appointed captain mid-tournament. Before his captaincy, Mendis was in scintillating form, achieving six fifties in seven innings, including a rapid 126 from 77 deliveries against Pakistan.
However, since taking over as captain, Mendis' form has seen a significant downturn, with his average plummeting to 15 and a strike rate of 68.18. As Sri Lanka seeks a crucial win in their upcoming matches, they will be looking towards Mendis to lead from the front and recapture his earlier form.
New Zealand has to contend with the absence of Matt Henry from the World Cup due to his being ruled out. In light of Sri Lanka’s susceptibility to short deliveries, New Zealand could strengthen their bowling attack by potentially bringing in Kyle Jamieson and/or Lockie Ferguson. Conversely, Sri Lanka, without new injuries to report, is expected to retain the same lineup from their recent match against Bangladesh, seeking continuity and redemption.
Pitch and Weather Report
While New Zealand’s team might have mixed feelings about Bengaluru's Chinnaswamy Stadium, their batters can look back with pride at amassing 401 runs against Pakistan. Sri Lanka can also recall their triumph over England at this venue with satisfaction. The main concern now is the weather, with Bengaluru’s forecast predicting cloudy skies and a high likelihood of rain interruption—standing at an 80% probability. Temperatures are expected to peak at 27 degrees Celsius with substantial humidity at 76%. Wind speeds could also influence play, anticipated to reach about 14 kmph.
New Zealand (Probable): Kane Williamson (capt.), Tom Latham (wk), Daryl Mitchell, Devon Conway, Glenn Phillips, Rachin Ravindra, Mark Chapman, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi/Kyle Jamieson, Trent Boult, Tim Southee/Lockie Ferguson
Sri Lanka (Probable): Kusal Mendis (capt, wk), Pathum Nissanka, Kusal Perera, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Charith Asalanka, Angelo Mathews, Dhananjaya de Silva, Maheesh Theekshana, Kasun Rajitha, Dushmantha Chameera, Dilshan Madushanka
The 2023 Cricket World Cup match between New Zealand and Sri Lanka will be broadcast across various platforms. Fans in India can catch the live streaming and telecast on the Star Sports Network and Disney+ Hotstar. Viewers in New Zealand can tune in to Sky Sport NZ for live coverage, while in Sri Lanka, the match will be aired on Maharaja TV.
The game is scheduled to commence at 2 PM (IST), following the toss at 1:30 PM (IST). For supporters in New Zealand, the live action will start at 9:30 PM NZDT. Sri Lankan fans can watch the match synchronously with the Indian telecast due to the shared time zone.
The stage is set at Bengaluru's Chinnaswamy Stadium, where past triumphs for New Zealand's heavy hitters and Sri Lanka's memorable win breathe life into their current quest. Amidst forecasts of rain and the threat of downpours, this high-octane clash transcends beyond just another match; it’s a duel where legacy, pride, and a spot in the semi-finals hang delicately in the balance. As anticipation builds, the world watches on to witness which team will rise to the challenge.
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