NEW DELHI: New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori won the toss and elected to bat against Sri Lanka in their World Cup semifinal at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on Tuesday.
New Zealand qualified last from Group ‘A’, but stunned South Africa, who qualified first from Group ‘B’, in Dhaka on Friday when they beat them by 49 runs.
The spirited performance has created quite a buzz about the team which has a reputation of punching above its weight in major international events.
Sri Lanka are expected to again go with a three-strong spin attack, a ploy they used against England and Australia.
However, there are doubts over off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan, who is nursing a hamstring injury.
The Kiwis, on the other hand, have no major injury and have in fact been boosted by the return to form of imposing all-rounder Jacob Oram, who grabbed four wickets and a couple of athletic catches in the quarterfinal win over South Africa.
Pitch and weather
The pitch being used for the semifinal is the same one on which Sri Lanka and England played the quarterfinal. Vettori was not satisfied of the track being used again, as in the last match it was on the slower side. The weather will remain fair, with only chances of light rain.
Teams (from): Sri Lanka: Kumar Sangakkara (Captain and Wicketkeeper), Mahela Jayawardene, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Upul Tharanga, Thilan Samaraweera, Chamara Silva, Chamara Kapugedera, Angelo Mathews, Thisara Perera, Nuwan Kulasekara, Lasith Malinga, Dilhara Fernando, Muttiah Muralitharan, Ajantha Mendis and Rangana Herath.
New Zealand: Daniel Vettori (Captain), James Franklin, Martin Guptill Jamie How, Brendon McCullum (Wicketkeeper), Nathan McCullum, Andy McKay, Jacob Oram, Jesse Ryder, Tim Southee, Scott Styris, Ross Taylor, Daryl Tuffey, Kane Williamson and Luke Woodcock.
Umpires: Steve Davis (Aus) and Aleem Dar (Pak)
Third Umpire: Marais Erasmus (SA)
Match Referee: Chris Broad (Eng) (Agencies)