Rampaging Kiwis take on in-form Sri Lanka
Dambulla: A spectacular win against India under their belt, New Zealand would look to continue their sparkling show when they clash with hosts Sri Lanka in the second match of the cricket tri-series here 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 the 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.
The Kiwi top-order was rocked by 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 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.
New Zealand had claimed that they are in better shape for the series due to playing match-like situation 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 experienced and youngsters, Black Caps` biggest asset is their fiery pace department.
Daryll Tuffey, Kyle Mills and Oram demolished the strong Indian line up and if the the trio can repeat their show, New Zealand would be placed comfortably in the series.
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.
Match starts 3.30 pm (IST).