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Home > Cricket > The Cup > Reuters > Report


Sri Lanka will attack from first ball

John Mehaffey | April 12, 2007 11:16 IST

Sri Lanka will go on to the attack from the first ball in the style which won them the 1996 World Cup when they bat in Thursday's Super Eights match against New Zealand.

Sanath Jayasuriya, still opening his team's batting 11 years on, and Romesh Kaluwitharana turned one-day cricket on its head when they launched an all-out attack in the first 15 overs of fielding restrictions.

Now bowlers have to contend with 20 Powerplay overs allowing only two men outside the 30-yard (27-metre) circle. Ten Powerplay overs are taken at the start of the innings with two lots of five any time afterwards.

"We have got five extra overs now," Sri Lanka vice-captain Kumar Sangakkara told reporters on Wednesday. "We play a very attacking, sometimes flamboyant, but I think disciplined game right now. So we just want to continue."

Sangakkara said Sri Lanka had gone astray in the one-day game when they had attempted to change a style which had proven so successful.

"We established a Sri Lanka brand of cricket in 1996 by winning that World Cup... and that's how we want to play now when we face any side, particularly a side like New Zealand," he said.

MALINGA OUT

Sri Lanka will take the field without a crucial member of their attack in fast bowler Lasith Malinga, who tore a ligament in his left ankle in training two days ago.

Malinga's speed, Chaminda Vaas's medium-fast left-arm variations and the fierce spin of Muttiah Muralitharan have admirably complemented the Sri Lankan stroke players. Pace bowler Farveez Maharoof is the likely replacement for Malinga.

New Zealand, who top the second-round standings on run rate ahead of defending champions Australia, will pick from a full-strength squad for the first time in the tournament.

Ross Taylor is available to bat at number three after recovering from a hamstring injury. Pace bowler Mark Gillespie, who was 12th man in the 129-run win over Ireland, presents another bowling option following his recovery from a viral infection in his shoulder.

Kiwi vice-captain and left-arm spinner Daniel Vettori, who needs one wicket to join Chris Harris and Chris Cairns as the only New Zealanders to take 200 one-day international wickets, said his team were guaranteed a semi-final spot if they won.

"We can control our own destiny if we win tomorrow and that's what we hope to do and hopefully find a comfortable semi-final if there's such a thing," he said.

"They are a very strong team. I think we have always had a feeling that when sub-continent teams come to New Zealand they tend to struggle but Sri Lanka certainly didn't the last time they came out."

Teams:

New Zealand (from) - Peter Fulton, Stephen Fleming (captain), Ross Taylor or Hamish Marshall, Scott Styris, Craig McMillan, Jacob Oram, Brendon McCullum, Daniel Vettori, James Franklin, Mark Gillespie, Shane Bond, Michael Mason, Jeetan Patel.

Sri Lanka (probable) - Upul Tharanga, Sanath Jayasuriya, Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene (captain), Chamara Silva, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Russel Arnold, Chaminda Vaas, Farveez Maharoof, Muttiah Muralitharan, Dilhara Fernando.


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