New Zealand and Sri Lanka will face each other in the 41st match of the ICC World Cup 2023 on Wednesday, November 9, at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore. The match will have a significant impact on the semi-final qualification chances of both teams, as New Zealand are currently in the fourth spot with eight points, while Sri Lanka are in the eighth place with four points.
New Zealand started the tournament with four consecutive wins, but have since lost four matches in a row, including a 21-run defeat to Pakistan in their last game. The Black Caps need to win this match to secure their place in the top four, as Pakistan and Afghanistan are breathing down their necks with seven points each.
New Zealand’s batting has been impressive, with Rachin Ravindra leading the run charts with 546 runs in eight innings, including three centuries. He is the first New Zealand player to score three hundreds in a single World Cup edition. The captain, Kane Williamson, who missed three games due to injury, made a splendid comeback with 95 runs against Pakistan. Ross Taylor, Tom Latham, and Martin Guptill have also contributed with some useful knocks.
However, New Zealand’s bowling has been their weak link, as they have failed to defend big totals or restrict the opposition. Trent Boult, Tim Southee, and Kyle Jamieson have been expensive and inconsistent, while the spinners, Mitchell Santner and Ish Sodhi, have not been effective either. New Zealand will need to improve their bowling performance in the crucial match against Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka have had a disappointing campaign, as they have won only two matches out of eight, against Netherlands and West Indies. They have lost to India, South Africa, England, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan, and are already out of contention for the semi-finals. However, they will look to end the tournament on a positive note and spoil New Zealand’s chances.
Sri Lanka’s batting has been dependent on Sadeera Samarawickrama, who has scored 372 runs in eight innings, with two fifties and a hundred. He is the only Sri Lankan batsman to cross 300 runs in the tournament. The experienced duo of Kusal Perera and Angelo Mathews have been disappointing, while Pathum Nissanka, Dhananjaya de Silva, and Dasun Shanaka have shown glimpses of their talent.
Sri Lanka’s bowling has been led by the young paceman, Dilshan Madushanka, who has taken 21 wickets in eight matches, at an average of 22.23. He is the second-highest wicket-taker in the tournament, behind India’s Jasprit Bumrah. Madushanka has been well supported by Dushmantha Chameera, Wanindu Hasaranga, and Akila Dananjaya, who have also picked up wickets at regular intervals.
New Zealand are the clear favourites to win this match, as they have a superior batting lineup and a better head-to-head record against Sri Lanka. The Black Caps have won four of their last five ODIs against the Lions, including a 10-wicket victory in the 2019 World Cup. New Zealand also have the motivation to win this match, as they need to secure their semi-final berth.
Sri Lanka, on the other hand, have nothing to lose, and could play with freedom and flair. They have some talented players who can pose a threat to New Zealand, especially if the conditions favour the spinners. Sri Lanka will also hope to repeat their performance from the 2014 World T20, when they beat New Zealand in a low-scoring thriller in Bangalore.
According to the betting odds from Unibet, New Zealand are priced at 1.22 to win this match, while Sri Lanka are at 4.00. The odds for a tie or a no result are 34.00. Some of the other popular bets are:
New Zealand vs Sri Lanka is expected to be an exciting contest, as both teams have some quality players and a lot of pride at stake. New Zealand will be under pressure to win this match and seal their semi-final spot, while Sri Lanka will look to play the role of spoilers and end their campaign on a high. The match could be affected by rain, as there is a forecast of showers in Bangalore on Wednesday. However, if the weather permits, we can expect a high-scoring game, with New Zealand having the edge over Sri Lanka.
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