The big occasions of World Cup 2011 is finally arrived with we are down with only four teams and three more games. With Sri Lanka taking on New Zealand in the first semi final of ICC World Cup 2011 at R.Premdaa Stadium, Colombo which will decide the first team to play in Final at Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai on 2nd April 2011.
Who have thought at the start of the tournament that New Zealand whose past six months record in subcontinent are so bad (they failed to make the final of a tri-series in Sri Lanka, were hammered 5-0 in India, and between those two beatings they were humiliated in Bangladesh, where they lost 4-0.) and yet will feature in last four team of the world cup but yet they manage to do so and that is more than a big thing for them. But they are not satisfied with it only and they like to get one more step closer to Cup that counts.
New Zealand is only non-Asian team to have featured in this edition of final four in World cup. But to get pass over Sri Lanka in the semi final they need some x-factor to go in there favor which will not only allow them to reach final but give them some hope of clinching the trophy on 2nd April 2011.
They knows how Sri Lankans played there last game in which they demolished the opposition so badly that they started to have thought of 1996 when Jayasurya and Co. thrashed English team in similar fashion.
Sri Lanka has great bowling attack with L.Malinga, M.Muralitahran, A.Mendis and R.Herath in their armory. The main worries for Sri Lankans are there middle order which is yet to be tested in the tournament. Apart from top four others struggled whenever they go the opportunity during this tournament. Likes of C.Silva, T.Samarweera and A.Mathews has not got lots of opportunity in the middle orders and if New Zealand able to get pass top three quickly then they can fancy there chances to beat the favorite Sri Lanka.
Going into this game bookies are also considering Sri Lanka as firm favorite, top has already ranked India to go all the way and lift the cup while placed Sri Lanka as second favorites.
This is the pressure of Semi Final and whichever team able to cope with it will emerge out as winner. In the last edition of World Cup also Sri Lanka played New Zealand in the semi final where they have crushed the kiwis easily.
Pitch and Conditions
The Pitch at R.Premdasa Stadium, Colombo will be the same one on which Sri Lanka crushed England by 10 Wickets, so considering this the team batting first must score in excess of 270 runs to put the added pressure on the opposition during chase. Spinner could also play an important role from both sides, with New Zealand have better fielding unit it can be make or break for them.
Likely Playing XI for both teams (Match is schedule to begin at 14:30 PM India Time)
M.Muralitharan who has hamstring injury is yet to declare fit and is likely to miss the game or if he consider himself fit enough to play then who knows otherwise N.Kulasekara is likely to replace the great man.
New Zealand on the other hand looking to play with three spinners but they knows Sri Lanka are far better player of spin than the South Africans. However if they decide so then they may stick with Same XI otherwise D.Tuffy might come into in place of Luke Woodcock.
Sri Lanka: Tillakaratne Dilshan, Upul Tharanga, Kumar Sangakkara (Captain & WK), Mahela Jayawardene, Chamara Silva, Thilan Samaraweera, Angelo Mathews, Lasith Malinga, Muttiah Muralitharan, Rangana Herath, Ajantha Mendis.
New Zealand: Brendom McCullum (WK), Martin Guptill, Jesse Ryder, Ross Taylor, Scott Styris, Kane Williamson, Nathan McCullum, Jacob Oram, Daniel Vettori, Tim Southee, Daryl Tuffey.