Sri Lanka vs New Zealand 3rd T20: Sri Lanka’s winning woes continue as they couldn’t register a victory in the ongoing T20 series against New Zealand. After having failed to win the test series against the kiwis, despite going one-up in the round, the Lankans were keen to clinch the T20 series at home. However, the Blackcaps had a different plan. Not only did they conquer the 3-match series with a 2-0 advantage, they literally decimated the opposition by successfully chasing the targets in both the occasions.
Sri Lanka’s T20 captain, Lasith Malinga wanted his players to get the maximum exposure and to play to their strengths. Though the team had done well in both the previous games, they were falling short in front of a decisive New Zealand. The 3rd T20, though being a dead rubber, will be an important match for the home team, as they will look to redeem themselves in this game and register a win, giving their fans and spectators something to rejoice for.
New Zealand, on the other hand, will be happy with their performance. They had the initial heartbreak after losing to Sri Lanka in the first test. Ever since then, they have managed to put up good performances and pose a strong challenge to the opposition. The top-order still is a matter of concern for them, however, with the middle-order rising up to the occasion, the dent doesn’t seem to be too much. But the Kiwis will be wary of that and will look to make some changes there, to get off to a flying start. Another matter of concern for them is the injuries that has plagued the visitors. However, it has not affected the team heavily.
With T20 World Cup in the sight, both the teams will be looking to make their amends in terms of finding the best XI, who would then go on to represent their respective teams in the mega event. Sri Lanka needs to rebuild their entire team altogether, in order to pose a strong challenge in the tournament. New Zealand, on the other hand, will be in a quest to pick their best lot, by giving more opportunities for players, before the tournament starts.
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PITCH AND CONDITIONS
The pitch at the Pallekele stadium had similar behaviour in the previous two encounters and it would remain the same for this match too. Though the pitch favours the batsmen, it has also shown signs of slowing down a bit as the match progresses. Akila Dananjaya and Mitchell Santner will again pose a great threat to the opposition. The weather looks clear at 22 degree Celsius, with a minimum prediction of rain. However, we will get to see the full 20-over match, without any reduction of overs.
After having lost the series, Sri Lanka will look to make some necessary changes in the team and give the opportunity to others. Isuru Udana is most-likely to get replaced by Lahiru Kumara, who hasn’t been featured in the series so far. Lakshan Sandakan went wicket-less in the previous game, but he did show the right signs which would earn him a spot in the final match. Lasith Malinga will also look to improve his bowling performance.
As far as batting is concerned, Kusal Mendis has been consistent for them. Avishka Fernando and Dickwella have also performed well in the previous two games, while firepower Kusal Perera is yet to make his mark.
Kusal Mendis, Kusal Perera (wk), Avishka Fernando, Niroshan Dickwella, Dasun Shanaka, Shehan Jayasuriya/Danushka Gunathilaka, Wanindu Hasaranga, Isuru Udana/Lahiru Kumara, Akila Dananjaya, Lasith Malinga (C), Lakshan Sandakan
Though the Kiwis are going back with a trophy in their hand, the biggest setback for them is the injuries that has affected the team management. Lockie Ferguson was the first to go out with a fractured thumb, and Martin Guptill followed suit. Tom Bruce was the star of the previous T20 clash, but he suffered a knee problem while playing his knock.
Hamish Rutherford, the Worcestershire player, has received a call as a cover. However, amid the disappointment of injuries, Ross Taylor has been declared fit to play the last T20 match, giving the team a huge respite. The onus will also be on Colin de Grandhomme, who has been consistent in the previous two games, to stabilise the team’s stand and take his team home with yet another victory.
Colin Munro, Tim Seifert (wk), Scott Kuggelejin, Colin de Grandhomme, Ross Taylor, Tom Bruce/Hamish Rutherford, Daryl Mitchell, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee (C), Seth Rance, Ish Sodhi
PROBABLE TOP PERFORMERS
Avishka Fernando – Sri Lanka| Tim Seifert – New Zealand
TV – Sony SIX, Sony SIX HD
Online– Sony LIV
MATCH TIMINGS – 19:00 IST and 19:00 local
The prediction is for New Zealand to win the match.
FANTASY CRICKET TEAMS FOR SRI LANKA vs NEW ZEALAND 3rd T20I
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