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Four thunderstorms predicted to disrupt World Cup match between New Zealand and Sri Lanka

Kiwis win toss and choose to bowl first

By News Desk

November 9, 2023 01:21 PM


Four thunderstorms predicted to disrupt World Cup match between New Zealand and Sri Lanka

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New Zealand won the toss and opted to bowl first in a crucial World Cup match against Sri Lanka being played in Bengaluru today with rain threat looming on the match, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.

New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson won the toss and elected to field against Sri Lanka on Thursday as they make a last push for a World Cup semi-final berth with rain threatening to play spoilsport.

The Kiwis have lost four straight matches and made one change from their previous defeat to Pakistan in a rain-hit game at the same venue in Bengaluru last weekend.

Fit-again fast bowler Lockie Ferguson comes in for leg-spinner Ish Sodhi.

"A little bit of weather around. A few unknowns," said Williamson. "Our focus has been on the type of cricket we want to play. Hopefully we can make a few improvements on past performances."

The Kiwis remain slight favourites in the hunt for the remaining semi-final spot as they have a better run rate than rivals Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Victory in the match and defeats for Pakistan and Afghanistan will take them clear on 10 points and into the semis, but a loss will leave their fate out of their hands.

Table-toppers India, South Africa and Australia have already booked their places in the final-four of the 10-team tournament.

Sri Lanka, led by Kusal Mendis, are already out of the semi-final race but have Champions Trophy qualification on the line.

The top seven teams from this World Cup will gain entry into the 2025 tournament where hosts Pakistan will have automatic qualification.

The team are still hurting from the "timed out" dismissal -- the first in international cricket history -- for Angelo Mathews in their previous loss to Bangladesh.

Mendis said New Zealand "is a calm team" when asked about their previous ill-tempered encounter with Bangladesh.

Bowling all-rounder Chamika Karunaratne takes the place of fast bowler Kasun Rajitha.

Teams:

New Zealand: Devon Conway, Rachin Ravindra, Kane Williamson (capt), Daryl Mitchell, Mark Chapman, Glenn Phillips, Tom Latham (wkt), Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Trent Boult, Lockie Ferguson

Sri Lanka: Pathum Nissanka, Kusal Perera, Kusal Mendis (capt/wkt), Sadeera Samarawickrama, Charith Asalanka, Angelo Mathews, Dhananjaya de Silva, Chamika Karunaratne, Maheesh Theekshana, Dushmantha Chameera, Dilshan Madushanka

Umpires: Adrian Holdstock (RSA), Joel Wilson (WIS)

TV Umpire: Richard Kettleborough (ENG)

Match Referee: Javagal Srinath (IND)

Weather forecast

New Zealand and Sri Lanka are fighting in two different halves of the points table and the result of this match will have significant implications for both those races. New Zealand are looking to keep Pakistan and Afghanistan at bay in the race to the semi-finals while Sri Lanka are trying to stay afloat in the race for qualification to the 2025 Champions Trophy. However, both their efforts could be dampened, and even drowned out, by incessant rainfall that has engulfed Bengaluru over the past couple of days.

Parts of the city is under yellow alert till November 10 and so there are high chances of this game being significantly affected by rain. In the worst-case scenario, there could be a washout as there are about four thunderstorms predicted throughout the course of the day, reported Hindustan Times.

Bengaluru has witnessed heavy rainfall in the last four-five days prompting the MET department to issue a yellow alert from Monday. A yellow alert is issued when the rainfall is between 64.5 mm and 115. 5 mm in a day.

Sri Lanka's campaign has been thrown haywire by the fact that they lost to Bangladesh by three wickets in a game that was laden with controversy. That was their third consecutive defeat and the fact that it came after a 302-run hammering at the hands of India meant that their net run rate has also plummeted. England jumping up to seventh spot has temporarily pushed them out of the qualification spots for the Champions Trophy as well.

New Zealand, on the other hand, are surprisingly on shaky grounds after starting off with four consecutive wins. They are fourth due to their net run rate, level on points with the two teams below them in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

While a victory against Sri Lanka would put them two points clear of Pakistan, it will also give the latter an exact idea as to what they need to do when they face England on Saturday. Afghanistan, while being on eight points as well, are too far behind on net run rate to be considered a serious threat for New Zealand.

Both sides are hence looking for as comprehensive a win as possible to secure their respective positions in the two halves of the table.

However, the whole thing could end up being a damp squib with the city of Bengaluru being hit by heavy showers a day before the match. Both teams will be hurt by a washout but arguably, New Zealand far more in the race to the top four than Sri Lanka in the race for the top eight.

New Zealand need two points from this match or else Afghanistan or Pakistan could overtake them. Sri Lanka will move into the qualification spots for the Champions Trophy but will then need England, Bangladesh and Netherlands to all lose their matches.


News Desk


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