New Zealand and Sri Lanka open the 2019 Cricket World Cup bids against each other on June 1, 2019 at Cardiff Wales Stadium.

The Black Caps have made it to the semifinals of the Cricket World Cup a total of six times. In 2015, they were the losing finalists. On the other hand, the Lions won the title in 1995 and finished second in 2007 and 2011. Sri Lanka made the semi-finals 2003 and the quarterfinals the last time out in 2015.

“Cricket" New Zealand ( 48-30-1 World Cup record)

Over the past 11 editions of the Cricket World Cup, there have been several formats applied. But all of them have a preliminary stage and a playoff. And in most of the tournaments, New Zealand has always made it past the preliminary stage, except in 1983 and 1987 when its current team members weren’t born yet. The Kiwis were runners-up in 2015.

The Squad: Kane Williamson (captain), Martin Guptill, Henry Nicholls, Ross Taylor, Tom Latham, Colin Munro, Tom Blundell, Colin de Grandhomme, Mitchell Santner, Jimmy Neesham, Ish Sodhi, Matt Henry, Lockie Ferguson, Tim Southee, Trent Boult.

What are the Moneyline Odds?

New Zealand


Sri Lanka


Odds from William Hill as of 5/20/19

“Cricket" Sri Lanka ( 35-35-3 World Cup record)

The 1996 World Champions have not won an ODI this year. They lost eight consecutive matches then were washed out by Scotland last week. The terrible losing spell Sri Lanka’s side to replace veteran speedster Lasith Malinga as captain and replace him with Dimuth Karunaratne. The latter has not played as a skipper in an ODI in the last four years.

The squad: Dimuth Karunaratne (captain), Avishka Fernando, Lahiru Thirimanne, Kusal Perera, Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Dhanajaya de Silva, Jeffrey Vandersay, Thisara Perera, Lasith Malinga, Isuru Udana, Suranga Lakmal, Nuwan Pradeep, Jeevan Mendis, Milinda Siriwardana.

“Cricket" Who Wins?

The pitches will very well likely to be too flat for Trent Boult and Tim Southee to make mischiefs on, their batting is thin by world level standards and New Zealand has shown a tendency of allowing themselves to be bullied off the pitch by the higher-ranked teams. Kane Williamson’s form in the IPL has been worrying but that’s mainly because of injuries. But if he can’t turn it around,  New Zealand could be in trouble, that is unless the likes of Henry Nicholls, Ross Taylor and Tom Latham can pick up the slack. Mitchell Santner won’t take many wickets but he could be key in limiting the damage they are going to take from big-hitting foes.

Sri Lanka’s best generation is gone and since winning the Cricket World Cup in 1996, they have been on a decline. Yes, there was that recent test series victory over South Africa but what made that remarkable was the fact that they have been flat in pretty much every series, regardless of which side they were on. The replacement of Lasith Malinga as captain could spur an off-field turmoil. Their current squad also lacks the experience after former captain Niroshan Dickwella and wicketkeeper-batsman Dinesh Chandimal were surprisingly not selected. The opening games won’t be that tough, but there are more questions than answers surrounding this team.

The secret to New Zealand’s consistency in the Cricket World Cup has been their ability to consistently lower-ranked opponents. Only Pakistan has a winning record against New Zealand in first round matches and the Kiwis have not lost a match to a non-test. In the past four years, New Zealand has completed 28 matches against the five World Cup teams with the lowest ICC rankings. They have won 24 of those matches and lost four, giving them a better record against those five than any other team. Considering one of those four losses were played against a team that didn’t have any of New Zealand’s IPL players, their mastery over the weaker teams is impressive. Please note that Sri Lanka is one of those five teams we’re talking about.

New Zealand isn’t among the top cricket betting favorites to win the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup. That is very much justifiable. And they probably won’t win the title this year. However, when you talk about beating Sri Lanka, that’s another story. New Zealand’s consistency in mastering the lower-ranked teams is undeniable. I think that trend continues here.  

Prediction: New Zealand

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