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The 2015 ICC World Cup will kick-start as co-hosts New Zealand take on Sri Lanka in the opening game of the tournament at Hagley Oval, Christchurch on Saturday.
Where to watch live
The match starts at 10pm GMT (on Friday). Live coverage is on Sky Sports 2 and Sky Sports 2 HD and will continue on the red button from 3am. Click here to watch live stream.
Sri Lanka have managed five consecutive wins over the Kiwis in the last five World Cup matches as they have a clear 6-3 lead over the co-host in overall meetings in the World Cup. The last time New Zealand registered a win over the Lankans at the biggest stage was during the 1992 World Cup.
The first game of Group A will be crucial for both sides as they look to start the tournament with a win. Sri Lanka made it to the finals of the last two World Cups, only to finish behind Australia and India in 2007 and 2011 respectively.
The Asian side will be looking for their second World Cup success this year and will rely heavily on three key players, Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene and Lasith Malinga. The wicket-keeping batsman is 12 runs short of overtaking Ricky Ponting and move to second spot on the list of all-time highest ODI run-scorers, behind former Indian legend Sachin Tendulkar.
Brendon McCullum will be the key player for New Zealand, while Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor will need to contribute with the bat in the middle order.
Betting Odds (888Sport.com)
- New Zealand to win: 5/11
- Sri Lanka to win: 7/4
What captains say
Brendon McCullum: "We knew the expectation would rise so we were able to deal with that a while ago. One thing we discussed a lot is being really stable emotionally ourselves. The game has its ups and downs anyway without us adding our own ups and downs."
Angelo Mathews: "If it's a good wicket, we'll try and bat first. We've got the bowling to try and stop the opposition, but if we have to bowl first, we've got the experience in our batting lineup."
Possible XI: Martin Guptill, Brendon McCullum (C), Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor, Grant Elliott, Luke Ronchi (WK), Corey Anderson, Daniel Vettori, Tim Southee, Adam Milne, Trent Boult.
Possible XI: Tillakaratne Dilshan, Lahiru Thirimanne, Kumar Sangakkara (WK), Mahela Jayawardene, Angelo Mathews (C), Dinesh Chandimal, Jeevan Mendis, Thisara Perera, Nuwan Kulasekara, Rangana Herath, Lasith Malinga.