Sri Lanka vs New Zealand: Preview, Dream11 and more
After an entertaining two-match Test series that ended 1-1, Sri Lanka and New Zealand are gearing up for an intense T20I series. The first T20I is set to be held today and there are several opportunities present. Kiwis have a better head-to-head record in T20Is against Lanka and that could serve as a crucial aspect. Here's more.
Lanka will be hoping to fire under Malinga's leadership
Lanka will be led by veteran speedster Lasith Malinga. The speedster will be wanting to lend a voice and help his side challenge the Kiwis. Lanka had earlier beaten Bangladesh 3-0 in the T20Is in July. The focus will be to build on the same. With the World T20 next year, Lanka will want to make their presence felt. A tough test awaits them.
Southee to lead New Zealand in Williamson's absence
New Zealand's veteran fast bowler Tim Southee has been handed the opportunity to lead the side. Kane Williamson and Trent Boult have been rested for the series. In the practice T20 match against Sri Lanka Board Presidents XI, the Kiwis enjoyed a commanding run and won the game by 33 runs. The idea for NZ will be to carry on with the momentum.
Key players to watch out for
For New Zealand, the onus will lie on veteran batsman Ross Taylor to give his side the solid base. Scott Kuggeleijn looked impressive in the practice match with figures of 4/19. He will hold key. Lanka will be relying heavily on Malinga. He will want to set an example and be a thorn for NZ.
Dream11: A strong side on offer
We have gone in with Colin Munro and Avishka Fernando as the opening batsmen of this Dream11 side. Wicket-keeper batsman Kusal Perera follows suit. The middle order is bolstered by Taylor (captain) and Kusal Mendis. Mitchell Santner and Colin de Grandhomme are the all-rounders. Irusu Udana, Ish Sodhi, Kuggeleijn and Malinga (vice-captain) are the primary bowlers.
Venue, timing, TV listing and pitch report
The match is set to be held at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium, Pallekele. Cloud cover is expected in an otherwise good day for cricket. The pitch will assist pacers and it remains to be seen how spin comes into play. The match is set to start at 7:00 PM. One can watch the match live on the Sony Ten Network.