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New Zealand vs Sri Lanka


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Sri Lanka to win the series at 11/2 with Ladbrokes


Sri Lanka are in a period of transition. Mahela Jayawardene retired from 17 years of international duty after the Cricket World Cup, having played 149 tests at an average of 49.84. Sangakkara followed suit in August after a 15-year, 134-test career with an average of 57.40. Those shoes aren’t easily filled. 

Mathews has made a reasonable fist of his test captaincy tenure since taking over in March 2013.

His career batting average of 51.43 has increased to 65.91 as captain, and he has scored six of his seven test centuries in the period. His bowling average has also dropped from 49.17 to 36.16 with the added responsibility.

Mathews' captaincy record reads: 23 matches, 10 wins, eight losses, five draws. And if Sri Lanka win the two-test series against New Zealand, which starts in Dunedin on Thursday, they will rise to sixth in the world. Lose, and they will remain in seventh.

Responsibility also lies with spinner Rangana Herath who, post-Muttiah Muralitharan, has played 43 of his 65 tests and taken 222 wickets at 26.81. Herath's 293 career test wickets at 29.49 sit him behind only Daniel Vettori (362 at 34.36) and Derek Underwood (297 at 25.83) in the left-arm orthodox ranks. They make a strong case for going close here, and they do have a good mix of skills for a series in New Zealand. They’re a huge price too. 

Read the full preview here: https://www.punterslounge.com/new-zealand-vs-sri-lanka-a-great-series-for-the-neutral-and-the-punter03

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4pts New Zealand to win the 2nd test at 4/9 with Stan James

What Sri Lanka seem to lack is real experience. Take the enormously talented Chandimal. He battles to 83 overnight but plays a flakey shot in the first few balls. It seems that the series could be a vital learning curve for this young side, but it looks difficult to see them winning the second test. You can back New Zealand to win at 4/9 Stan James.

Check out the full preview here: https://www.punterslounge.com/new-zealand-vs-sri-lanka-series-set-up-after-a-great-first-game-2015121403

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4pts New Zealand to win the second ODI at 4/11 with Coral

The strength of Kane Williamson at three is a surprise to nobody, we have long championed him as possibly the best in that position in the world. What has taken us slightly off guard is the dominance of Martin Guptill at the top of the order.

Yes, this is a man with an ODI highest of 237 not out, but his career has generally featured explosive brilliance, followed by a torrid run. He is now in the best form of his international career. In his last six games in all formats, he has two tons and three half-centuries. Impressive going.

Elsewhere, Brendon McCullum has been his typical cavalier self, blasting telling scores in no time at all. He may be on the verge of retirement, but he remains one of the most devastating batters on the circuit.

The manner of their victory in Christchurch certainly made a statement too. The 174 ball margin was the biggest ever defeat inflicted on Sri Lanka in ODI cricket. And the scale of the Black Caps victory was set up by a stellar bowling display, long before the batting fireworks.

New Zealand seem to have a conveyor belt of quality bowlers, and when one drops out, another steps up. Just look at Neil Wagner in the tests.

In this game it was young Matt Henry, who tore through the Sri Lanka top order, taking four wickets that effectively ended the game. Without Chandimal, Mathews, Dilshan and Thirimanne, there was no way back.

Henry’s 4/49, along with great spells by Mitch McClenaghan and Doug Bracewell showed the strength in depth now boasted by the home team. They did this without Southee and Boult.

It’s obvious the home side have all the momentum, so it’s impossible to bet against them. You can back New Zealand to win at 4/11 with Coral. Here's the full preview: https://www.punterslounge.com/new-zealand-vs-sri-lanka-home-team-in-ruthless-mood-after-first-odi-2015122702

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2pts Brendon McCullum to be top New Zealand batsman at 7/2 with Coral

Again turn to the usual suspects. Guptill remains in good form, as does Williamson. Latham is steady and the all rounders have all produced good performances in spells.

One man who can be counted on to lead his team out of a mini slump is Brendon McCullum. The swashbuckling hero of New Zealand cricket. We will all miss him when he’s gone.

You can read the full preview here: https://www.punterslounge.com/new-zealand-vs-sri-lanka-after-black-caps-dominance-sri-lanka-can-level-2015123105

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4pts New Zealand to win at 2/5 with Paddy Power

The unlikely star of the show in Nelson was Dilshan. The forgotten man of international cricket, who actually never went away. In fact he never really stopped scoring runs for Sri Lanka. It remains to be seen whether he will go on beyond the T20 World Cup in a few months, but he still possess the strong wrists and slashing off-side play that he always has.

For New Zealand, this loss will have a chastening effect, at least for the short term. They started imperiously once again with the bat, speeding to 102/2 in no time. It was when Brendon McCullum would normally hit the crease, things seemed to fall apart. Baz is known for coming out when his team are on top and piling on the misery for the opposition bowlers. The middle order tried, but unfortunately they were unable to find the regular boundaries to fire them to a match winning total. Infact without Tim Southee’s four ball cameo, where he hammered 18 runs, they would have been considerably short of par.

But this is a new game. Sri Lanka look longer than they should be at 9/4 with Skybet, but we can’t back them for that alone. With McCullum likely to be back in the side, the Black Caps have the missing ingredient from last time. They still have plenty of players in good knick, so they should be able to get back to winning ways against an inexperienced and inconsistent Sri Lanka.

You can read the full preview here: https://www.punterslounge.com/new-zealand-vs-sri-lanka-after-a-washout-can-sri-lanka-draw-the-series--2016010304

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