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ICC World cup: Sri Lanka to take on New Zealand at M.Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru

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In the ICC World Cup, Sri Lanka will face New Zealand at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore. As part of the World Cup 41 match, the match between these two teams will start today at 2 pm.

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It’s an unusual place to be. The penultimate week of a World Cup is usually about teams looking to peak if not qualify for the semifinals. But in New Zealand and Sri Lanka, we have two sides coming in with seven consecutive defeats between them. So even if you factor out New Zealand needing a win to stay in contention for the last remaining semifinal spot, or Sri Lanka needing a win to stay in contention for Champions Trophy qualification, a win will still be at a premium.

But as you’d expect, there’s a twist. Whether there will be a winner at all is currently up for debate. It’s been raining on and off in Bengaluru in the lead-up to the match, with two of New Zealand’s optional training sessions interrupted by sharp showers. Looking back, you wouldn’t blame them for thinking that it never stopped raining in the city since Saturday, when Fakhar Zaman’s century thrust Pakistan ahead of the DLS par score and rendered New Zealand’s total in excess of 400 all but redundant.

On Thursday, Kane Williamson and Co. will be back at the Chinnaswamy Stadium to play yet another World Cup match, hoping that it isn’t “one of those days” this time around. Of course, a gap in their itinerary would have helped make sense of things but the build-up couldn’t have been more contrasting for Kusal Mendis’s side.

Only a couple of days ago, Sri Lanka lost their first-ever World Cup match to Bangladesh. And as if that wasn’t enough food for thought in the days to follow, Angelo Mathews’s timed-out dismissal, his frustration and his time-stamped proofs on social media constituted some great political football across mediums. Is that the spark the team might need? Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan spoke of how appealing for the time-out and then standing by his decision spurred the “warrior” in him, and Sri Lanka will hope that it’s something similar for Mathews who’s also 36 and hasn’t had the kind of tournament that he perhaps merits.

Squads:

New Zealand Squad: Devon Conway, Rachin Ravindra, Kane Williamson(c), Daryl Mitchell, Tom Latham(w), Glenn Phillips, Mark Chapman, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Trent Boult, Lockie Ferguson, Kyle Jamieson, James Neesham, Will Young

Sri Lanka Squad: Pathum Nissanka, Kusal Perera, Kusal Mendis(w/c), Sadeera Samarawickrama, Charith Asalanka, Angelo Mathews, Dhananjaya de Silva, Maheesh Theekshana, Dushmantha Chameera, Kasun Rajitha, Dilshan Madushanka, Dimuth Karunaratne, Dushan Hemantha, Chamika Karunaratne, Lahiru Kumara, Dunith Wellalage

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