T20 World Cup Tips: Sri Lanka v New Zealand

The danger man Brendon McCullum in action

Will we start to see the best of the hosts in the Super Eights, asks Ed Hawkins, as he looks ahead to Thursday's meeting between Sri Lanka and New Zealand

"If New Zealand bat first, they are worth a back-to-lay because they are unlikely to feel pressure from turn if they are not chasing."

Recommended Bet
Back-to-lay New Zealand if they bat first at 2.568/5

Sri Lanka v New Zealand
Start time: 11.00
Live on TV: Sky Sports 1

Sri Lanka
The hosts have a doubt over Ajantha Mendis, the spinner. He is suffering from a side strain and a decision on his participation will be taken on the morning of the match. Mendis missed the defeat by South Africa and the fact he is still troubled by the injury makes him unlikely to feature.

Sri Lanka comfortably beat Zimbabwe in their opening group match and although they lost to the Proteas, they will reckon they had the thin end of the wedge in a rain-affected match.


New Zealand
New Zealand, as expected, progressed with a win over Bangladesh and a defeat against Pakistan. Inevitably the match against Pakistan will be of more significance to punters. They came unstuck against spin, an old story for sides visiting the sub-continent. Had they worked out how to play one of Saeed Ajmal and Shahid Afridi, they would have won.


Venue and conditions
The wicket at Pallekele is a good one. New Zealand and Pakistan posted 191 and 177 respectively when batting first in the group matches so we would feel confident about taking on a more than 160 wager.


Match odds
One would expect Sri Lanka to take the spoils here because of their dominance with spin. They are 1.635/8 to do so with New Zealand 2.568/5.

But the Kiwis have an impressive record in this tournament and the key will be if they manage to bat first and set Martin Guptill and Brendon McCullum loose at the top of their order. If they bat first, they are worth a back-to-lay because they are unlikely to feel pressure from turn if they are not chasing.


Top Sri Lanka batsman
We are yet to see the best of the Sri Lanka batting. Kumar Sangakkara has most runs so far with 57 from two innings. He will go off at around the 5.04/1 mark.


Top New Zealand batsman
All eyes on McCullum, who smashed a record-breaking century against Bangladesh. He hit 123 off an extraordinary 53 balls and will go off shorter than 3.002/1.


Recommended Bet
Back-to-lay New Zealand if they bat first at 2.568/5

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