New Zealand vs Sri Lanka: Second Test Preview

Cricket ball sits on pitch

Rain and a flattening pitch at the Basin Reserve saved Sri Lanka in the first Test, which New Zealand had the better of.

The Black Caps will be disappointed that they couldn't roll the tourists over in the 115 overs bowled in the second dig.

New Zealand vs Sri Lanka | 26 December - 30 December  | Hagley Oval, Christchurch 

To Win Match
New Zealand 7/20
Draw 11/2
Sri Lanka 9/2

New Zealand
Tom Latham's massive double ton was the highlight of the first Test for New Zealand, who outscored Sri Lanka in Wellington despite batting just once.

Skipper Kane Williamson provided much-needed impetus with his knock of 91 off 93 balls in Wellington, while Colin de Grandhomme also looked to take on the bowling during his 49 off 53 balls. Latham enjoyed further support from Ross Taylor and Henry Nicholls, who ground out patient half-tons.

New Zealand had remained confident of a win until late on a rain-ravaged fifth day at the Basin Reserve. Tim Southee had starred with the ball in the first innings, but neither he nor any of the other bowlers could break through when it mattered. Spinner Ajaz Patel ended the match wicketless and could be on the chopping block for the Hagley Oval decider.

The weather could play a big role again, with rain likely to disrupt play at some point in the first three days.

Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka atoned for a first-innings capitulation at the Basin Reserve with stubborn resistance, led by Kusal Mendis and Angelo Mathews.

The backbone that has been noticeably absent from Sri Lanka cricket in recent times returned, as the tourists frustrated their more fancied hosts.

It is difficult to see how any changes made within the current squad would strengthen the team, though selectors might consider handing Lahiru Thirimanne another shot at opening the batting in the place of a misfiring Danushka Gunathilaka.

Sri Lanka's seamers were made to toil in Wellington, but should find a more helpful surface in Canterbury. Suranga Lakmal, Kasun Rajitha and Lahiru Kumara should receive the backing of skipper Dinesh Chandimal.

Verdict: New Zealand 7/20
If the pitch lives up to its billing, New Zealand should be able to put Sri Lanka away to secure a series win.

Written by Jonhenry Wilson for Hollywoodbets

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