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Super Eight : Sri Lanka vs New Zealand

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On the face of it, it is a game that has very limited consequences. New Zealand are practically through to the semis. Lanka will have to win only one more from their remaining two games- one of which is against Ireland - to go through to the next round. So, very little at stake. But hell, it's Lanka Vs New Zealand,two of the few remaining teams with a realistic chance of upstaging Australia.  Bound to be a solid contest.
 
Upping the Ante

Going by the squad's overall averages, Sri Lanka should have scored an average of around 223 runs in each game this world cup. However, something in their batting line up has certainly clicked, with the result they have recorded an average of 250 - a good 27 runs more than their potential.

If you think that's spectacular, take a look at the New Zealanders. From a normal potential of 230, the Kiwi's have jumped to a whopping 290 runs per game this world cup.

Unless the pitch has anything to say about it, expect a run-fest today, with the New Zealanders possibly getting the better of it.


One big knock or several small ones ?

The Lankan batsmen, however, seem to have an edge in that each of them manages to rake up a 50+ score every 5 games, while the New Zealanders may be a little worse off, with a 50+ score once every 9 innings.

But that's just one way to look at it.Given the fact that overall they seem to be scoring more runs, this stat also indicates that the kiwis have been scoring their run as a unit with every batsmen chipping in. Or most batsmen chipping in, at any rate. Quite unlike the Lankans, who might be more dependent on some remarkable individual efforts to pull them through.

So for the Kiwis, it's only about getting a couple of key wickets, whereas for the Lankans, it's about keeping each of the Kiwi batsmen in check.


Key Batsmen

It's not surprising that the deviations points of each player in the course of the world cup rises well above their normal average. For both teams, players scoring around 6-8 runs more than their team's averages have been scoring at 15 to 20 runs above their averages.

The most remarkable of these has been Styris - scoring at an unreal 67 runs more than his usual average. It might help the Lankans if Jayawardene reserves his best bowlers against him.


Choke-a-Block

Despite a general impression that Asian teams aren't great runners between wickets, and rely more on boundaries, it is surprising to note that New Zealander's have scored more of their runs (39.82 %) in boundaries than the Lankans (34.5%).

What this implies is that both teams are susceptible to some defensive, slow bowling that might dry up the boundaries and choke the batting line up.



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