New Zealand vs Sri Lanka – 2nd Test Tips and Betting Preview

After one of the most thrilling Test matches we have seen to open up the series, New Zealand and Sri Lanka meet for the second and final time from Friday for a match which doesn’t carry any massive significance other than for the future.

Sri Lanka saw their hopes of reaching the World Test Championship final ended when they went down in dramatic fashion in Christchurch last week and now they head to Wellington looking for a share of the series. New Zealand will look to avoid defeat to claim the spoils.

New Zealand

You could argue that New Zealand got out of trouble last week but that would be doing a disservice to their battling qualities and their character. It was pretty clear that the opening spells of the match didn’t go their way after they asked Sri Lanka to bat on a green top but once they got their teeth into proceedings with the ball they remained competitive. For the second match in succession their tail kept them in the game and then their extra class took over in the second innings with bat and ball.

You’d like to think that we’ll see better from New Zealand here but the pattern of the first game was very much reflective of the second game against England so it might just be that the Kiwis don’t have that extra gear any longer and need to just stay in matches and allow their five-day strength to come out in the second innings. They would like their entire top order to bat better to give Kane Williamson support but you sense it will be another team effort if they win here.

Sri Lanka

All of the pressure was on Sri Lanka in that opening match and for probably two-thirds of it they were coping absolutely fine but they just couldn’t maintain their intensity for the entire five days and got pipped at the post, quite literally. They should take a lot of positives from their performance in that first game but at the same time they are clearly going to be disappointed to put so much in, get so close and yet have nothing to show for their efforts.

I think most people were slightly concerned whether Sri Lanka would have enough with the bat to be competitive. Those doubts were soon answered and that should give them some encouragement that they can go on and level up the series. In the main their seam attack stood up to the test and when you consider that their bowlers were not offered the best of the conditions there might still be more to come from that unit.

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Team News

New Zealand will be forced into a change as Neil Wagner has not recovered from the injury he sustained in the opening game. His place in the side is likely to go to Doug Bracewell which will strengthen the batting a touch.

Given the conditions it is expected that Sri Lanka will swap a seamer for a spinner and in that case Vishwa Fernando will come into the side with Prabath Jayasuriya being the man to miss out. Dhananjaya de Silva would be the spinner should one be needed.


In terms of the playing element to this match I am expecting much the same of what we saw in the opening one. We have a pitch which will start out very green and then get better to bat on in the middle three days before offering up a little bit more to the bowlers in the back end of the game. The one issue with all of that is the weather forecast, which is dreadful for the opening day, not brilliant for the last day and not great for the second day.

Often in Test matches these days we still get results when rain comes along. That was the case in the first match but if more than a day is washed out here, which it could very well be, then even allowing for the 32 overs of catch up play I’m not convinced a result comes along. Unlike when England were here, neither of these two teams are blessed with many players who can put time back into the game. You would say New Zealand are the likely winners here but there is no need for them to force the pace and open up the chance of losing so for once the 13/8 on the draw might just be a price worth taking to at least use to engineer profit as we go along, if not ride through to the end.


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