A vastly changed Sri Lanka T20 unit came second best to a spirited New Zealand team in the first T20I. Nevertheless, the idea will be to focus on the T20 World Cup next year. The second match of the series on Tuesday should also see more experiments.
Lasith Malinga’s side looked ‘hit or miss’ with the bat and will hope for more consistency. Bowlers in both teams struggled, although the veterans Tim Southee and Lasith Malinga enjoyed good outing. Watch out for all-rounders, for they give you good fantasy points.
Sri Lanka Preview
A return to the opening slot worked wonders for Kusal Mendis. All his best knocks in this format have come as an opener. However, Sri Lanka will be worried with the poor form of others. Dhanushka Gunathilaka could be an option if they look to change.
For your fantasy team selections, keep an eye on Lasith Malinga. Cheap options like Dasun Shanaka and Wanindu Hasaranga could be crucial for your points. Kusal Perera with his all-round skills is another key option.
New Zealand Preview
The Kiwis owed the win to their two veterans – Southee and Ross Taylor. There were enough support acts from the others, as the Kiwis sailed through. The robust hitters that they have, gives the visitors an edge.
Keep an eye on all-rounders Colin de Grandhomme and Mitchell Santner. Both can be crucial with their all-round skills for your fantasy points. Someone like Daryl Mitchell can also be a darkhorse pick for your side.
Fantasy Players to Watch
Ross Taylor has been excellent in the middle order for the Kiwis. If the top-order fails, his experience will be a difference.
Kusal Perea gives a lot to Sri Lanka with his all-round skills. Expect him to add value to your fantasy side as well.
Lasith Malinga needs just one more wicket to become the first bowler to 100 international T20I wickets. The Sri Lankan captain could turn out to be a nice fantasy pick.
Sri Lanka: 1 Kusal Mendis 2 Kusal Perera (WK) 3 Avishka Fernando 4 Niroshan Dickwella (WK) 5 Shehan Jayasuriya 6 Dasun Shanaka 7 Isuru Udana 8 Wanindu Hasaranga 9 Akila Dananjaya 10 Lasith Malinga (C) 11 Kasun Rajitha
New Zealand: 1 Martin Guptill 2 Colin Munro 3 Daryl Mitchell 4 Ross Taylor 5 Tim Seifert (WK) 6 Colin de Grandhomme 7 Mitchell Santner 8 Scott Kuggeleijn 9 Ish Sodhi 10 Tim Southee (C) 11 Seth Rance
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