New Zealand will be looking for a convincing victory over Sri Lanka on Thursday to confirm their place in the semi-finals of the ICC World Cup 2023.
Pakistan are still in contention for a top-four finish following their victory over the Kiwis last week.
New Zealand could have taken a big step towards qualification if they had overcome the Green Shirts in their previous game.
The Black Caps made a brilliant start and looked to be in a dominating position after posting over 400 runs on the board in 50 overs.
Rachin Ravindra hit another century while skipper Kane Williamson struck 95 to play vital contributions in the score.
But Pakistan were equally brilliant with the bat as Fakhar Zaman’s 126 knock saw them winning by 21 runs on DLS.
The Kiwis will now hope to do a better job against Sri Lanka especially with the ball, with the responsibility mainly on Trent Boult, Tim Southee and Mitchell Santner.
The Lions are now out of the World Cup following their three-wicket loss to Bangladesh.
Charith Asalanka ton helped the Lions post a decent 280 target, but a brilliant partnership between Najmul Hossain Shanto and Shakib Al Hasan took the game away from them.
That was Sri Lanka’s sixth defeat in what has been a disappointing World Cup campaign.
The Kusal Mendis-led side have won only two matches in the tournament, and that came against the Netherlands and England.
Their entire board of the cricket governing body were sacked on Monday, but in a latest twist, court has reportedly restored the expelled officials.
New Zealand vs Sri Lanka playing XI
New Zealand: Devon Conway (wk), Will Young, Mark Chapman, Daryl-Mitchell, Tom Latham (wk & c), Glenn Phillips, Rachin Ravindra, Mitchell Santner, Lockie Ferguson, Matt Henry, Trent Boult
Sri Lanka: Pathum Nissanka, Kusal Perera, Kusal Mendis (c & wk), Sadeera Samarawickrama, Charith Asalanka, Angelo Mathews, Dhananjaya de Silva, Maheesh Theekshana, Dushmantha Chameera, Kasun Rajitha, Dilshan Madushanka
How to Watch?
New Zealand vs Sri Lanka prediction
One would imagine Sri Lanka have no motivation left to win on Thursday considering they are already out of the semi-finals race. However, that is not the case as a top-eight finish will secure them qualification for the Champions Trophy 2025.
We are expecting a tough competition for New Zealand at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium. The Kiwis are currently on a four game losing streak but they still boast a superior squad quality. And that’s why we are backing them for success.
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