Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka Reuters

Both Sri Lanka and New Zealand will want to ease pressure by recording their first wins of the Super Eights at the T20 World Cup 2012.

Who: Sri Lanka v New Zealand

Where: Pallekele

When: 10.30 am BST. Live coverage will be available on Sky Sports 1 and Sky Sports 1 HD. ESPN will stream the match live on its Web site.


The hosts Sri Lanka are considered one of the favourites to win the tournament, for obvious reasons. Captain Mahela Jayawardene will want a significantly better effort from his team though, than the poor display in the final group game, against another pre-tournament favourite in South Africa; it may only have been a seven over shootout but AB de Villiers and Dale Steyn were in fine form with the bat and the ball respectively. The fact the Proteas won a seven-over game by 32 runs tells its own story. However, Sri Lanka did enjoy an emphatic win over Zimbabwe in the other group game and a good pre-tournament and will have the home crowd right behind them all the way.

The batting has been in decent form, the debacle against South Africa notwithstanding, with veteran Kumar Sangakkara in good form. The problem, though, is at the top of the order, where opener Dilshan Munaweera has struggled to get runs. Another veteran in Tillakaratne Dilshan has had a bit of a stop-go tournament, following the 39 off 28 balls against Zimbabwe with a duck against South Africa.

If New Zealand can manage to break through the top three or four batsmen, the middle and lower order could be vulnerable. Jeevan Mendis and Thisara Perera are key to keeping the run rate ticking over.

With the ball, Sri Lanka will be delighted spinner Ajantha Mendis, whose 6/8 off four overs is now the world's best bowling return for T20Is (the previous best, 6/14, was also Mendis') is back from injury. This is good news because in his absence the seamers will struggle to get wickets... as they did against South Africa. Between Lasith Malinga, Nuwan Kulasekara, Angelo Mathews and Perera have picked up only four wickets between them, conceding 115 runs in the process.

New Zealand
New Zealand Reuters

Meanwhile, New Zealand are in a similar pickle, form-wise. The Kiwis eased past the weaker side in their group - Bangladesh - but stumbled against the 2007 champions, Pakistan.

Ace hitter Brendon McCullum's brilliant 123 off 58 balls powered them to a crushing win over Bangladesh but despite a more concerted team effort, they fell short of Pakistan's 177/6 in the second game; McCullum could manage only 32 off 31.

Despite the defeat, New Zealand must not be underestimated. McCullum remains a hugely dangerous batsman and in Tim Southee (5/47 off eight overs so far) and Kyle Mills (3/68 off eight) they have wicket-taking seamers to complement the veteran Daniel Vettori.

Although Ross Taylor's side has put out decent batting efforts, they will need to settle on a solid opening pair. They've been shuffling through almost every game in this series, with Rob Nicol, Martin Guptil, Kane Williamson and James Franklin all being rotated. That slight issue apart, the rest of the batting is fairly solid and did manage 164 to Pakistan's 177 in the second group game, with scores from Nicol, McCullum and Taylor propping the innings up.


Sri Lanka: Mahela Jayawardene, Angelo Mathews, Dinesh Chandimal, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Shaminda Eranga, Rangana Herath, Nuwan Kulasekara, Lasith Malinga, Ajantha Mendis, Jeevan Mendis, Dilshan Munaweera, Akila Dananjaya, Thisara Perera, Kumar Sangakkara, Lahiru Thirimanne

New Zealand: Ross Taylor, Doug Bracewell, James Franklin, Martin Guptill, Ronnie Hira, Brendon McCullum, Nathan McCullum, Kyle Mills, Adam Milne, Rob Nicol, Jacob Oram, Tim Southee, Daniel Vettori, BJ Watling, Kane Williamson