Mahela Jayawardene top scored in the 2nd ODI against New Zealand. Picture: Dinuka Liyanawatte/Reuters
New Zealand will be looking to make amends for Sunday’s 14 run loss to Sri Lanka when the sides meet again in Pallekele on Tuesday. Just like the match on the weekend, game three in the five match series has been moved to the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium with the Premadasa Stadium under water following weeks of monsoon rain.
As always, Sri Lanka was heavily reliant on its big name players in game two with Tillakaratne Dilshan and Mahela Jayawardene top scoring. The latter shepherded his side to victory with 43* in what could have been a tricky Duckworth/Lewis chase and his composure in the middle order is very important alongside some less experienced players. The 35 year-old is averaging 73.2 from his past eight matches against the Black Caps and will be determined to continue his good form.
Brendon McCullum could return for the Black Caps after sitting out the previous match with a stiff back and would be a welcome addition to the top order. Tom Latham , who opened the batting in his absence, looked out of his depth against the new ball pairing of Lasith Malinga and Nuwan Kulasekara and looks the man most likely to make way. Skipper Ross Taylor’s clean hitting has been a vital part of his side’s success in limited overs matches lately and he will again pose the most problems for the opposition attack having proven his form with 72 from just 62 balls on Sunday.
Following their win two days ago, Sri Lanka has now won eight of the past nine completed ODI matches against New Zealand but has been successful in just two of the last six matches against all teams. The host’s record in Pallekele isn’t great either, having won just two of the past five ODI’s at the ground.
Click here to bet on the 3rd ODI between Sri Lanka and New Zealand