Sri Lanka vs New Zealand, 2nd T20I - Live Cricket Score, Commentary
But amidst all that, what will also be an interesting point to note are the patterns in some of the experiments New Zealand are up to. Will Tom Bruce - New Zealand's best domestic T20 cricketer - continue to sit out, will Colin de Grandhomme be persisted at No. 4 and will Seth Rance find a comeback in the death overs after being plundered in Pallekele? And with 1-0 up in the series, it is a good time for these experiments to unfold, even as Southee's fifth straight win as a captain is on the cards.
For Sri Lanka itself, there is a lot to be tried and tested. What looks like flexibility on a good day can figure traits of unsettled on the bad ones. Kusal Mendis's 79 coupled with some big hitting in the late overs propelled Sri Lanka to a strong score, but their batting order still wears some unpredictability. However, it was the inability of their bowlers to control New Zealand's attack that came to prove costly. Barring Wanidu Hasaranga and Lasith Malinga, none of them really threatened.
Fortunately, there was very little to separate the two sides, and that should leave the second encounter interesting as well. Even as there was ample positive to take for both sides from the first game, there still remains room for improvements.
When: Sri Lanka vs New Zealand, 2nd T20I, September 3
Where: Pallekele International Cricket Stadium, Pallekele
What to expect: It is expected to be partly cloudy and extremely humid, with the temperature hovering between low to mid-20s. Dew could again play a part.
New Zealand: Lockie Ferguson has been ruled out of the series. However, they are unlikely to make any changes to the playing XI.
Probable XI: Martin Guptill, Colin Munro, Tim Seifert, Colin de Grandhomme, Ross Taylor, Daryl Mitchell, Mitchell Santner, Scott Kuggelejin, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Seth Rance
Sri Lanka: With Kasun Rajitha proving ineffective, there could be a case of replacing him with a pacer or an addition spinner.
"(We have) a great group of guys, a number of young guys coming out and playing with freedom, and also the experienced guys stepping up in crucial moments. It's a great mix of youth and experience which makes my job easier." - Tim Southee
"They (youngsters) are not experienced under these conditions. They have to take the opportunities. In wet conditions (it is) hard to control the ball. We want to play our best cricket in the next game. The bowlers have to accumulate to wet conditions. Mental preparation is important too." - Lasith Malinga
New Zealand (From): Martin Guptill, Colin Munro, Tim Seifert(w), Ross Taylor, Daryl Mitchell, Colin de Grandhomme, Mitchell Santner, Scott Kuggeleijn, Tim Southee(c), Seth Rance, Ish Sodhi, Todd Astle, Tom Bruce