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CWC 2019 – New Zealand v Sri Lanka: 5 key talking points

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Last Updated on 5 years by Charbel Coorey

New Zealand v Sri Lanka: 5 key talking points. NZ vs SL CWC 2019 Match 4: 5 key talking points

Shifting to a 10-team World Cup was supposed to eliminate the one-sided matches. It was supposed to be a platform for more competitive matches to be played. The first game on Saturday was like men vs boys, where the men simply weren’t letting up.

This was the third one-sided match in a row. The worst of the lot, perhaps. Players from the Associate nations have been quick to point out the lack of competitiveness; much quicker than Sri Lanka have done anything of note to solve their almost irreparable ODI woes.

New Zealand v Sri Lanka: 5 key talking points – Time for Sri Lanka to reassess.

New Zealand, a team to watch out for in the 2019 World Cup, had a breeze. It was a lovely day out; the kind you’d have with your family on a nice lunch at a park or something. Unloading the car boot probably took more effort than this game, with New Zealand’s net run rate of 5.724 incredibly second behind West Indies. But, a statement has been made.

Like the Pakistan v West Indies game, one-sided matches still provide talking points. Here are five.

New Zealand v Sri Lanka: 5 key talking points. NZ vs SL CWC 2019 Match 4: 5 key talking points. Cricket World Cup 2019

1. Can Sri Lanka avoid finishing last?

As you may have noticed, each team has a little feature video before the tournament. Sri Lanka’s theme was that no one was expecting them to win the tournament and that they could play with no pressure.

Unfortunately, expectations are arguably at an all-time low regarding World Cups. Finalists in 2007 and 2011, Sri Lanka have experienced a downturn of epic proportions since the retirement of legends such as Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara. Their next game, against Afghanistan, is a big one for Sri Lanka. This is not only to give us more of an idea of who can avoid bottom place, but another loss will drive morale even lower. Given Afghanistan’s effort against Australia, coupled with Sri Lanka’s awful form since 2017 in particular, it is a real possibility that Sri Lanka will finish bottom.

New Zealand v Sri Lanka: 5 key talking points. NZ vs SL CWC 2019 Match 4: 5 key talking points. Cricket World Cup 2019
New Zealand v Sri Lanka: 5 key talking points – If Dimuth could, why couldn’t anyone else?

2. Sri Lankan batting embarrassment

Sri Lanka’s captain, Dimuth Karunaratne, might have stayed up last night wondering why he agreed to the captaincy role. In just his second ODI since the 2015 World Cup, the opener became the second batsman in World Cup history to carry his bat right through an innings. A scratchy, fighting 52 is what it took to etch his name in the record books. This is a good record to have for any player, but even so, there was surely to be a sour taste in the mouth as the remaining Sri Lankan batsmen fell like nine-pins.

New Zealand v Sri Lanka: 5 key talking points – Happy days? Not quite.

3. What on earth is with these stumps?

The bowlers are having a good time so far in this tournament. However, that doesn’t mean they will like the batsmen to have any favours.

2019 has seen some incredible moments where the ball has hit the stumps solidly, only for the bails to not fall off. It happened on a few occasions in IPL 2019, and has happened a few times already at the World Cup. The latest was in the sixth over of Sri Lanka’s innings, where Dimuth Karunaratne chopped a Trent Boult delivery onto the stumps, only for the bails to remain intact. A review should be made as to whether the groove is too deep. This isn’t right.

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4. Tim Southee or Matt Henry?

Had Tim Southee been fit, Matt Henry might have very well made away after going for 107 in nine overs in the Warm-up against West Indies. However, he was the chief destroyer against Sri Lanka, taking advantage of the bowling-friendly conditions as well as some abject batting.

Tougher opposition await, but should New Zealand persist with Henry or bring Southee back when fit? A man of the match performance means Henry probably retains his spot even with Southee is fit, but he’ll have to hold onto it tightly as a bad performance or two could mean he makes way.

5. Colin Munro or Henry Nicholls?

As you can tell, New Zealand’s biggest worry is whether they should continue with two of their good performers yesterday.

The question arises as Colin Munro has largely underwhelmed in ODIs so far. An average of 26 in 52 matches is no record for an ODI opener, but his quickfire 58* might have just done his confidence the world of good. Of course, the target was just 137, the pitch had got better for batting and Sri Lanka looked soulless. Tougher tests await, which may mean the reintroduction of Henry Nicholls when fit to provide reliability and stability. With Martin Guptill looking in fine form, Nicholls might just be the foil New Zealand need at the top.


This article took longer to piece together than the action at Cardiff yesterday. Sri Lanka play their next game against Afghanistan – a game in which the Afghans can surely fancy themselves in. For New Zealand, they play Bangladesh, whom they beat well at home, but have lost twice to in the UK in the past three years.

Here’s hoping to more competitive matches.

Thanks for reading!

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is World-Cup-Tickets.png
Charbel Coorey
Charbel Cooreyhttps://cricblog.net
Charbel is the owner & founder of cricblog.net, based in Sydney, Australia. He started the website to fulfill his love for the game of cricket. Charbel has been featured on other publications including OP India, Times of India, and The Roar, among others. He is also a keen fantasy sports player. Charbel has also had the privilege of interviewing cricketers on the CricBlog TV YouTube channel, including James Neesham, Rassie van der Dussen, Andrew Tye, Shreyas Gopal, Jaydev Unadkat and Saurabh Netravalkar: https://www.youtube.com/@cricblogtv For any story tips or questions, you can contact Charbel at charbelcoorey@cricblog.net.

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