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Sri Lanka v New Zealand: Fitness of SL spinner key to outcome

| 26.09.2012

Sri Lanka could be without star spinner Ajantha Mendis for their first Super Eights encounter as he continues to suffer from a side strain.

Despite the strong chance Mendis will be missing for the New Zealand game, the World t20 hosts are still priced very short at 8/15 for the win.

The man who took six wickets for just eight runs against Zimbabwe was forced to miss the game that followed and his side were defeated by the South Africans.

The Kiwis will be boosted by the absence of the man who has taken 10 wickets in six t20 internationals against them, including a performance where he took three wickets for nine runs in the inaugural World t20.

Mendis’ omission adds value to the New Zealanders’ odds of 6/4 as the Sri Lankans will be without a crucial strike bowler. It’s also important to note that, prior to their last meeting, New Zealand had racked up four straight t20 wins over Sri Lanka.

Brendan McCullum notched the highest score in international t20 history when he slapped the Bangladeshi attack around the park for 123 in their opener. He’s priced up at 5/6 to score over 22.5 runs here, but that may be one to swerve here.

The reason being is that, despite soaring beyond this mark in both previous matches in this tournament, his run total has only crossed this line three times in nine appearances against Sri Lanka.

However, if McCullum can reciprocate his Bangladesh form in the Super Eights curtain-raiser, the Kiwis hitting over 12.5 fours in their innings is as good as money in the bank at 5/6.

They’ve surpassed this mark in both their previous matches to date, despite losing one of their matches and, if Mendis fails his fitness test, the significantly weakened Sri Lankan attack should leave the door open for New Zealand’s batsman to frequently find the boundary.

All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date



James Middleton