Sri Lanka looking to start off with a bang
Just 10 months after losing the Twenty20 World Cup final against Pakistan at Lords Sri Lanka will be looking to start this year’s tournament with a bang against New Zealand.
With a strong batting line up that includes Kumar Sangakkara, Tillakratne Dilshan and Mahela Jayawardene last years beaten finalists are one of the favourites to reach the semi finals once again in the Caribbean.
All three players come into the tournament having enjoyed mixed performances in the IPL. While Sangakkara and Dilshan struggled Jayawardene enjoyed a superb run of form after he was promoted to open the batting for the Kings XI Punjab.
Despite losing their only warm up game Sri Lanka go into tonight’s game full of confidence with a squad that is regarded as one of the best in the shortest formats of the game.
As well as having a strong batting line Sri Lanka also boast a very experienced bowling attack spearheaded by fast bowler Lasith Malinga.
With his unique bowling style Malinga possesses a deadly yorker which he used to devastating effect during this years IPL helping the Mumbai Indians reach the final.
"I've always felt that Twenty20 cricket is pretty open. I don't think there're any favourites and I think all the teams competing in the tournament have a pretty good chance. With regards to Sri Lanka, it is a format we enjoy playing as we, as a side, get a chance to express ourselves more freely," said Jayawardena.
"We did have great success in England but I don't think we should get ahead of ourselves. This tournament is going to be another tough challenge and we need to start anew, take each game as it comes but try to go one better and win the tournament."
"I think we've got a really good, young and talented group of players. I think if we can get everyone together and perform, our chances are pretty good," he added.