New Zealand, Sri Lanka
World Cup 2019: New Zealand vs Sri Lanka (Photo: Twitter)

In the third match of 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup, last edition’s runners-up New Zealand will face Sri Lanka at the Sophia Gardens Cricket Ground, Cardiff at 3 pm on Saturday.

FORM

New Zealand have won four of their last five matches as they clean sweeped Bangladesh at home. The Kiwis won their first warm-up match against India by 6 wickets and followed it up with a 91-run loss to West Indies.

Sri Lanka have won only one of their last five matches and are struggling in every department. The Lanka Lions lost both their warm-up matches to South Africa and Australia.

Predicted XI

New Zealand: Martin Guptill, Henry Nicholls, Kane Williamson (C), Ross Taylor, Tom Blundell (wk), Colin de Grandhomme, Jimmy Neesham, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Trent Boult, Lockie Ferguson.

Guptill and Nicholls are expected to open the batting for the Kiwis with Blundell taking the wicket-keeper slot after his century against West Indies.

Sri Lanka: Lahiru Thirimanne, Dimuth Karunaratne (C), Kusal Perera, Kusal Mendis (wk), Angelo Mathews, Dhananjaya de Silva, Thisara Perera, Jeewan Mendis, Suranga Lakmal, Nuwan Pradeep, Lasith Malinga.

Thirimanne is expected to open the innings alongside newly elected skipper Karunaratne. Isuru Udana offers left arm seam option with batting potential in case the experienced trio of Lakmal, Pradeep, and Malinga fail to click.

X-FACTOR

The Kiwis would be relying on their strong seam attack of Trent Boult, Tim Southee, Lockie Ferguson, Jimmy Neesham, and Colin de Grandhomme to trouble the Lankan batsmen.

The Lions would be relying on their top four for majority of the runs while Jeevan Mendis can be a key player against a side that is used to playing seamers on fast pitches.

The match between New Zealand and Sri Lanka can be viewed on Star Network and HotStar.

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