Tuesday, 24 April 2007

Sri Lanka Look The Better Side

Two finely balanced sides lock horns in what is widely expected to be a closely fought encounter. New Zealand and Sri Lanka are two sides that play the percentages well and, more importantly, know their strength and stick their guns to it.

It would need the nerve of a gambler to predict a winner straight out. There is nothing much to choose from between the two sides, but personally I would give the Islanders a few inches more than the Kiwis, and I have my reasons for it.

Both sides were drubbed by Australia, but to their solace, they rested their two key bowlers who could have made a difference, hence the defeat might not have really dented their confidence. But the Lankans go into the match with a better all-round attack, that has more options to throw.

The Sabina Park track has slowed down a fair bit in the last few years and will play lower as the game progresses. And if Sri Lanka were to set a target they would enjoy a definite advantage. The Kiwis will have to display nerves of steel if they are to go through a tough chase.

The Sri Lankan spinners have the knack of pushing the middle overs through very quickly and that is the time in the game where bad habits might creep in for the batsmen, as things might not go their way. It has happened many a time in the past when Murali and Sanath, with their plethora of experience, have stifled the run rate and plotted the downfall of strong batting lineups.

The New Zealand batting has also blown hot and cold through the World Cup; none barring Scott Styris have shown the kind of consistency one would normally associate with a World Cup aspirant. On the contrary the Kiwis strength is their medium pace and would like to exploit whatever early life the wicket would provide and try and keep the target to manageable proportions.

Both sides would be strengthened immensely by the return of their strike bowlers (Bond and Oram for NZ, Murali and Vaas for SL) and would hope the rest would have done more good than harm. The contest at least on paper promises a seat edge thriller but Sri Lanka go in with a small advantage because of their balance. The Lankans have also batted the end overs slightly better.

Stephen Fleming and his boys would have to restrict their opponents to a sub-250 score otherwise it could well turn out to be another so near yet so far story for the Kiwis.


Dinesh said...

Krish, It could be a coincidence but in this world cup all your predictions (almost all) have gone wrong. You predicted India will win the world cup, but they didn't even reach the super 8s. You predicted RSA will clean up Bangla, while the latter happened. So many such cases. So going by your luck in this world cup, I am thinking NZL will make it to the finals, even though I support Sri Lanka today and for the cup.

RH said...

Hats off to you. Sri Lanka played it according to your script and won.

Anonymous said...

excellent forcast