Live Cricket Score : Champions Trophy 2013 - Sri Lanka Vs New Zealand

Daijiworld Media Network

Cardiff, Wales, Jun 9: Hello, and a warm welcome to one and all to the Group A encounter between New Zealand and Sri Lanka. This is the first game in the tournament for both teams and both will like to start with a victory. The preparation for the Kiwis have been good, they beat hosts England 2-1 in the just preceded ODI series. On the other hand, Sri Lanka are coming off from a long break from international cricket. Toss and team updates in 10 minutes.

Daniel Vettori has been on the sidelines ever since he was called into the team as a replacement for Bruce Martin ahead of the 2nd Test at Headingley. Will he be fit for today's match? We will get to know shortly at the toss.

Sri Lanka have won the toss and elected to bat

Brendon McCullum: I would have batted as well. We have to start well in such a tournament. Grant Elliott has been ruled out, Daniel Vettori is back, that is a huge positive for us. We have played well during the ODI series and are used to the conditions. But the other teams have played warm-up matches as well. They have a great record against us, but we need to execute our skills and do the basics well.

Mathews: 'We will bat. The wicket has been used and will get slower and lower as the game progresses, we would like to set a score. Our preparations have been very good. We have made one change. Shaminda Eranga comes in place of Nuwan Kulasekara. New Zealand are a very good team, very hard to beat in ODI cricket.'


Sri Lanka (Playing XI): Thisara Perera, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Kumar Sangakkara(w), Mahela Jayawardene, Dinesh Chandimal, Angelo Mathews(c), Lahiru Thirimanne, Shaminda Eranga, Kushal Janith Perera, Rangana Herath, Lasith Malinga

New Zealand (Playing XI): Luke Ronchi(w), Martin Guptill, Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor, Brendon McCullum(c), James Franklin, Mitchell McClenaghan, Daniel Vettori, Tim Southee, Kyle Mills, Nathan McCullum


The last time they played each other in a series (in November 2012 in Sri Lanka), Sri Lanka won 3-0. The Asian team has come out on top most of the time and the Kiwis would like to set this right. While the Black Caps have played two ODIs at Cardiff and won both, this will be Lanka's first one at this venue and they would be keen on extending their dominant record over the Kiwis.

New Zealand

Team News:

With a 2-1 win over England in the recently-concluded One-day series, New Zealand will be riding high on confidence when they clash against Sri Lanka in Cardiff on Sunday. After an uneventful Test series against the hosts, one would have thought that New Zealand might meekly surrender in the limited overs series as well. However, some brilliant performances and a re-charged attitude led the BlackCaps to thump England in the one-day series.

Martin Guptill emerged as the star performer with brilliant back to back centuries who was complemented well with Ross Taylor returning to his usual destructive form. Already secured with a strong top order, the responsibility of balancing the middle order rests on the McCullum brothers and Daniel Vettori. Considering the amount of experience they pack, New Zealand should not find it difficult to overcome the Sri Lankan bowling attack.

Their bowling unit is just as strong with big names like Kyle Mills, Tim Southee and Dan Vettori in the line-up. New-comer Mitchell McClenaghan has also impressed with a decent record in his 7 ODIs so far.

As long as they fine-tune their fielding and focus on bowling tight in the death overs, the Kiwis have a good chance of coming out on the top.

In form players: Without a doubt, the Blackcaps are pinning their hopes on the amazing form of Martin Guptill, who amassed 330 runs in the ODI series which included a spectacular unbeaten 189. Ross Taylor also averaged 66.66 in the three games against England and would be keen on carrying on this form forward. Seamer McClenaghan was the highest wicket-taker with 8 wickets in the previous series and one can expect more gems from him now that he has got used to the English conditions. Tim Southee has been magnificent in Tests with ball and he will be the key in attacking the Lankan top order.

Weak links: The form of captain Brendon McCullum is particularly worrisome and he will need to get in touch with his old self to lend stability to the middle order. Also, the BlackCaps need to address their death bowling issue considering the amount of fire-power the Lankans pack in form of Thisara Perera to see them through the final overs. In the 3rd ODI against England, they gave away 82 runs in the last five overs, which really puts them in a spot to improve.

Sri Lanka

Team News:

Having lost both the warm-up games, Sri Lanka will be under pressure to perform better and get off to a winning start. While the batting has not been much of a concern with decent totals being posted in both the games, the bowling has been very poor by Lankan standards. The bowlers were not able to defend a mammoth total of 333 in the first game and then allowed West Indies to get to 297 in the second.

Kusal Perera and Dilshan have the ability to give Sri Lanka explosive starts. And while both the batsmen hit crackling half-centuries in the first warm-up game followed by mediocre performances in the second. The Lankan middle order comprises of experienced names like Jayawardene, Sangakkara, Mathews who can tear apart reputed bowlers. Then they have Thisara Perera, an aggressive all-rounder, who can pound bowlers in the death overs and change the complexion of the game in a matter of minutes. Their bowlers are also quite capable of chipping in with the bat now and then.

On paper, Sri Lanka have one of the most competitive bowling attacks of the tournament. However, the bowlers failed miserably in the warm-up games with a below par performances. Malinga was very expensive, although his reputation as a dangerous bowler is enough to instill fear in the hearts of the most reputed batsmen. Nuwan Kulasekara is equally intimidating with the ball and Shaminda Eranga has adjusted well to the English conditions picking up two wickets in each warm-up games. Thisara Perera can be counted upon to provide breakthroughs when needed.

With a team filled with match-winners and talented players, Sri Lanka can turn around any game in their favour if only they play up to their true potential.

In form players: The batsmen have been in exceptional form with Kusal Perera and Dilshan hitting 82 and 84 respectively in the first game. They also started off well in the second game but were not able to convert the start into a big score. Sangakkara and Jayawardene have been consistent. Thisara Perera and Eranga have bowled economically in both the games and managed to pick up some important wickets as well.

Weak links: Bowling concerns after the warm-ups disaster need to be addressed. Although naturally talented, the spin department is comparatively quite inexperienced and might find it difficult to contain runs especially if the Kiwi top order goes berserk.

Head to head in CT: Played - 3; Sri Lanka - 2, New Zealand - 1.


Angelo Mathews agrees that winning the first game is quite important - You would want to win every game you play, but in a format like this it is important to get a good start.

It's as close to a knock-out competition as you can get. We are certainly not thinking two weeks ahead. - Kiwi coach Mike Hesson understands the importance of winning group fixtures


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