Rain falls as New Zealand strives for Super League supremacy

Wanindu Hasaranga has lacked consistency with both bat and ball in ODIs so far

Sri Lanka will likely lose out on direct qualification for the ODI World Cup and will instead need to compete in qualifying.

New Zealand have won all but one Super League series

Sri Lanka is bound for the World Cup qualifiers.

Sri Lanka seems unlikely to qualify for the ODI World Cup this year automatically. If South Africa defeats the Netherlands in their two one-day internationals, they will have 98 Super League points beyond Sri Lanka’s grasp. Zimbabwe will likely host Sri Lanka for the qualifiers in June and July this year.

They have acted most of this Super League season like a team that does not merit automatic qualification. They only outperformed expectations in one crucial series, a 3-2 victory over Australia at home last year that did not count towards the Super League.

As it was on Saturday, one of Sri Lanka’s significant issues is the batting order. They were bowled out for 76 by The blackcaps at Eden Park, which marked the second straight game where the team total fell short of 80; they had been knocked out for 73 against India in January, who had accumulated 390 for 5 in the exact match.

No batsmen are inside the top seven with a proven track record in ODIs after Angelo Mathews, who hasn’t played in two years. This is a severe issue because bowling is also gaining popularity. The team chosen for the opening game received significant criticism, especially for leaving Dhananjaya de Silva off the roster. De Silva, though, has played 65 ODIs with a scoring rate of just 78, averaging just 26.28. So, additional proof that he is a hitter who can change the course of a game is required.

With one more victory, The Blackcaps can guarantee they finish first in the Super League standings. Although they lost their most recent series 3-0 in India, which was not a member of a Super League either, this is mostly for accolades and a confirmation of their strong ODI play over the last three years.

The second One-Day International against Sri Lanka in Christchurch presents another chance for players competing for spots in the World Cup squad to make an impression. The selectors would have been pleased with Finn Allen’s half-century and Rachin Ravindra’s 49, which came from a lower batting position. Henry Shipley’s five-wicket haul in the first game would have caught their attention.

New Zealand is getting to the fine-tuning stage of their World Cup preparation; Sri Lanka has enormous holes in their game to address.

Wanindu Hasaranga has lacked consistency with both bat and ball in ODIs so far

In the Spotlight

Rachin Ravindra, an all-rounder who can bat with the tail and bowl left-arm spin, could be a valuable addition to New Zealand’s World Cup squad for the long campaign in India. While his performance with the ball in T20Is had been decent, his batting in 12 innings had been modest in international cricket. On his ODI debut last Saturday, Rachin Ravindra demonstrated the potential to play a composed inning, as he had to bat with the lower order for a significant amount of time.

Wanindu Hasaranga is considered one of the best T20 bowlers, but his performance in ODIs could have been more impressive, especially recently. Despite conceding only 28 runs in ten overs in one of his last four ODIs, he failed to take any wickets. Some experts believe that he has the potential to become a valuable batsman in this format as well. However, he needs to improve his consistency in bowling and batting. Sri Lanka’s time to groom a new frontline spinner for the World Cup is running out, so there is a heavy reliance on Hasaranga to improve his ODI performance.

Pitch and conditions

Hagley Oval is a ground where average scores are typical due to its significant boundaries and a pitch that generally favors seamers. However, rain expected in the morning and early afternoon might cause a delay or a shortened match.

Henry Shipley is one of those pushing for a World Cup spot for New Zealand

Team news

With most of their batters contributing and the bowlers skittling Sri Lanka for 76 in a 198-run thumping in the first ODI, New Zealand may not see the need to change their XI.

New Zealand (probable): Playing XI for the second ODI against Sri Lanka is as follows: Finn Allen, Chad Bowes, Will Young, Daryl Mitchell, Tom Latham (captain and wicketkeeper), Glenn Phillips, Rachin Ravindra, Henry Shipley, Matt Henry, Ish Sodhi, and Blair Tickner. However, there has been some controversy regarding Dhananjaya de Silva’s position. On Friday, de Silva denied the social media rumor that he had refused to bat at No. 7. Nonetheless, he may require assistance to make it into the playing XI unless Sri Lanka decides to extend their batting order and drop a frontline bowler.

Sri Lanka (possible): 1 Pathum Nissanka, 2 Nuwanidu Fernando, 3 Kusal Mendis (wk), 4 Angelo Mathews, 5 Charith Asalanka, 6 Dasun Shanaka (capt), 7 Dhananjaya de Silva, 8 Chamika Karunaratne, 9 Wanindu Hasaranga, 10 Kasun Rajitha, 11 Lahiru Kumara

Stats and trivia

  • Sri Lanka has lost all four ODIs they have played at Hagley Oval, all by significant margins, all to New Zealand, and all in 2015.
  • Outside Asia, Hasaranga averages 131 with the ball across six bowling innings.
  • New Zealand has won all their Super League series aside from the one against Australia last September, where they were defeated 3-0.


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