New Zealand vs Sri Lanka 1st Test Match Prediction. After a terrific, away series against Pakistan, Kiwis return home to host Sri Lanka in tour comprising of two tests, three one-dayers, and a T20I. The Test series starts on Saturday with the first match to be played at The Basin Reserve, Wellington. Contrary to New Zealand’s form, Sri Lanka are coming off three back to back home losses to England. The conditions here will differ significantly as compared to what it were like in UAE and Sri Lanka and therefore acclimatizing quickly will be the key to get an early lead in the match as well as the series.
- Sri Lanka faced a 0-3 drubbing against England at home while New Zealand are coming on the back of a series win over Pakistan.
- New Zealand have a strong head-to-head record and they have won their last five test matches played against Sri Lanka.
- Sri Lanka do not instil much confidence with the bat and they are likely to struggle against the Kiwi pacers in these conditions.
Our Pick: New Zealand
Who Will Win Sri Lanka vs New Zealand 1st Test?
Sri Lanka are set to kick-off their tour of New Zealand with a two-match test series. The opening game will be played from December 15 at the Basin Reserve in Wellington. Live telecast is scheduled to begin at 11 AM local time each day of the match.
NZ vs SL 1st Test: Where to Watch/Live Streaming
TV channels: Star Sports, Fox Sports, Sky Sports Cricket, SuperSport, OSN Sports Cricket HD
Live Streaming: Bet365, Hotstar, SuperSport Live, Now TV
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New Zealand Team News & Playing 11
In terms of batting, the Kiwis will bank on the likes of Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor, Tom Latham and Henry Nicholls to play the big innings. Williamson, the second-best batsman in the world in test cricket, topped the runs charts in the recent test series against Pakistan in the UAE. Ross Taylor is the most experienced batsman in this line-up and he has two hundreds and seven fifties at this ground in this format. Nicholls too is coming off a good tour of the UAE. New Zealand’s bowling will rely on Tim Southee, Ajaz Patel, Trent Boult and Neil Wagner. Boult is amongst the world’s top ten test bowlers. The pacer has 31 wickets in 7 tests at this ground and he seems to be the main threat in this pace attack. Patel was impressive in the UAE with 13 wickets and he will be the skipper’s go-to option when it comes to spin.
New Zealand Predicted Playing 11
- Tom Latham, Jeet Raval, Kane Williamson (c), Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, BJ Watling (wk), Colin de Grandhomme, Tim Southee, Ajaz Patel, Trent Boult, Neil Wagner
Sri Lanka Team News & Playing 11
Sri Lanka’s batting is going to depend heavily on Dinesh Chandimal, Dimuth Karunaratne, Kusal Mendis and Angelo Mathews. Karunaratne is ranked seventh in the ICC test batting rankings. The opener was the team’s best batsman in the recent home series against England and he will be expected to provide a good start to the innings. Mathews is one of the leading run-getters in test cricket for Sri Lanka and the veteran will be a key figure in this middle order. Suranga Lakmal, Nuwan Pradeep and Lakshan Sandakan form the major threat with the ball. Lakmal has 121 wickets in 52 test matches and the onus will be on the fast bowler to provide the early breakthroughs with the new ball. Nuwan Pradeep is coming off an injury layoff and he will be raring to have a crack at the batsmen. Sandakan has 39 wickets in 12 tests and he too can trouble the Kiwis if the pitch has something in it for the spinners.
Sri Lanka Predicted Playing 11
- Danushka Gunathilaka, Dimuth Karunaratne, Dinesh Chandimal (c), Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Roshen Silva, Niroshan Dickwella (wk), Lakshan Sandakan, Suranga Lakmal, Nuwan Pradeep, Lahiru Kumara
Team Form in Last Five Matches (most recent first)
NZ : W L W D W
SL : L L L W W
NZ vs SL Head to Head
New Zealand and Sri Lanka have played 32 test matches against each other. 14 of those have been won by the former and 8 by the latter with the rest all having ended in draws.
At the Basin Reserve, the two countries have faced each other five times in the longest format with the hosts leading the scoreline 3-1.
New Zealand emerged victorious by 193 runs when they last played a test match against Sri Lanka at this venue in January 2015.
Matches Played: 32; New Zealand Won: 14; Sri Lanka Won: 8: Draw: 10
Sri Lanka vs New Zealand Betting Odds
New Zealand begin as overwhelming favorites amongst the bookmakers to win this opening test match. The hosts are being offered at extremely short odds of 1.34 on Betfair and 1.30 on both Betway and Bet365. Sri Lanka find themselves as distant outsiders at a much higher price of 8.40 on Betfair and 7 on both Betway and Bet365. The odds for this game to end in a draw stand at 6 on Betway, 6.50 on Bet365 and 7.20 on Betfair.
New Zealand vs Sri Lanka Prediction
New Zealand are coming on the back of a 2-1 series win over Pakistan in the UAE while Sri Lanka suffered a whitewash in the recent three-match test series against England at home. The latter, after such a drubbing and that too on their home soil, will definitely be down on confidence. The Kiwis have the advantage of playing in their own conditions and they are a tough side to beat at home in this format. They have been faring pretty well at the Basin Reserve, winning four and losing just two of their last seven test matches here. New Zealand also have the upper hand in the fact that they have beaten Sri Lanka in each of their previous five test encounters. The visitors are likely to struggle with the bat against a hostile pace attack which is another reason why we predict the hosts to win the series opener.
Final Verdict: Back New Zealand to beat Sri Lanka in the first test at 1.34 on Betfair and 1.30 on both Betway and Bet365.