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Squad Stats : Sri Lanka vs New Zealand

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  As the tournament enters its third phase, there is enough evidence to believe that the action on offer is likely to get a lot more exciting, and the cricket will operate on a higher plane. The last four teams now take on each other in a lead up to the unveiling of the World Champion.

 

New Zealand has entered the semis without much trouble. But they know that the path hereon isn’t going to get any easier. As they take on Sri Lanka for the final berth, they know they are up against a team that has been as commanding and confident as they have been. As we all know by now, Sri Lanka has shown enough character and ability to hold on to their title chase throughout the long and testing tournament. Technically speaking, both the teams, more or less, apply similar strategies and are on par with each other in terms of talent.

 
Let us have a look at what stats have to say about the match.

 
The Lankan  Lions

 

For Lanka, Jayawardane, Jayasuriya and Chamara Silva seem to hold the reins of their batting, with their averages hovering around 22-23 points above their overall team’s average. Of the trio, Jayasuriya seems to be the greatest danger for Kiwis as he has maintained a whopping 50 – 100 conversion rate of 67% this World cup. The bottom line is clear, get Jayasuriya early and cheap and set Lanka on the path of rebuilding the innings.

 
Vaas, Muralitharan and Malinga lead the Lankan bowling attack on both counts wickets and good economy rate. For Vaas and Murali have been bowling at less than 4 runs an over, while Malinga and Murali have grabbed 15 and 19 wickets respectively so far. Dilshan and Jayasuriya are yet to taste bowling success and thus remain the target points in the Lankan bowling attack.

 

The Kiwi performance so far:

 
Styris, Fleming and Franklin form the backbone of New Zealand’s batting, outdoing the team’s batting average by 59, 10 and 31 points respectively. What makes Fleming dangerous is his good conversion rate of 25%. He is a captain who has the potential to stand up and deliver when it matters the most. Styris, the Robinhood, is in the form of his life, and needs to be kept in check and not allowed to settle down.

 
New Zealand bowling, though economical, lack the attacking edge and has had limited success this tournament. The extraordinary dependence on Bond and Vettori doesn’t augur well for the Kiwis, and if either of the two fails to deliver, the Kiwis bowling attack will look the way it did in their game against the Aussies.

 
On paper, Bond, Oram and Vettori are the most potential bowlers for Kiwis with 12, 9 and 15 wickets in bags for each.

 

Facing off

  All the bowlers of New Zealand are in the 50 most economical bowlers list for the world cup as compared Lanka’s exception of one bowler – Malinga. Malinga remains a wild card for Lankans – swinging between wayward mediocrity and match-swingin 4-in-4 hauls.

 
The key difference between the two batting line ups is undoubtedly Sanath Jayasuriya. He has an overall strike rate of over 100 this World Cup. The battle between Bond and Jayasuriya is likely to have a large weighing on the eventual result of the game. As against that, none of the frontline Kiwi batsmen have a strike rate of more than 90.

                                                                                                       
Lankans hold a potent weapon in the form of the ability to accelerate at any given point in time…which the Kiwis haven’t shown so far this World Cup.

 
For Lanka, Jayasuriya, Jayawardane and Sangakara hold the key partnerships responsibilities, while for the Kiwis, this responsibility is shared by Fleming and Styris.

 
Lankan have, so far, maintained a good control over extras and therefore seem to give away very little ‘unforced errors’ to the opposition, unlike the New Zealanders who have been generous with their gifts.

 

The Final Word

 
The Lankans got the better of Kiwis in their Super Eight encounter. Points to be noted from the match are inability of Kiwis to keep Jayasuriya and Sangakara in check and failure in the batting department for Kiwis with very important disappointment by Fleming. Amend these mistakes and we expect a very close tie.

 
New Zealand have so far performed better in both batting and bowling as compared to Lankans with potential batting ability of 262 as compared to 244 and bowling ability of 201 as compared to 204. Also Lankans have mainly relied on big individual performances(22) as compared to Kiwis(17). On papers, Kiwis seem to be more disciplined team. But on a stage like the semis, emotions and spirits take over all the other aspects. Which is why winners can never be predicted for such matches.



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