first_imgNew Zealand will take inspiration from their 1st warm-up against India when they take on Sri Lanka in their opening match of the ICC World Cup 2019 in Cardiff. Sri Lanka, however, will bank on the experience of veterans Lasith Malinga and Angelo Mathews along with the exuberance of the 2 Kusals – Mendis and Perera to have any hopes of stifling their opponents.The 1996 champions are in dire need of motivation and captain Karunaratne himself has to inspire the unit. The left-hander, who had scored his maiden test hundred against the Black Caps in 2014, could be the glue that holds the Sri Lankan batting together. He will have the support of Malinga who can instil confidence into the team, both with his bowling and experience.Recent form:New Zealand had produced a top-class bowling performance against India but in their next warm-up against West Indies, the Kiwi bowlers were hammered for 421 runs giving them a stern reminder of days to come.The Emerald Islanders, on the other hand, have had a tough stay in England as they lost both their warm-up matches to South Africa and Australia.Match Prediction:In the 2015 World Cup edition, the Black Caps had opened their tournament with a rampant 98-run victory over Sri Lanka and they would once again like to replicate that performance. The Kiwis are certainly favourites to win today’s tie.Probable Playing XIs:Sri Lanka: Dimuth Karunaratne (c), Lahiru Thirimanne, Kusal Mendis (wk), Kusal Perera, Angelo Mathews, Dhananjaya de Silva, Thisara Perera, Jeevan Mendis, Isuru Udana, Lasith Malinga, Nuwan PradeepadvertisementNew Zealand: Martin Guptill, Colin Munro, Kane Williamson (c), Ross Taylor, Tom Latham (wk), James Neesham, Colin de Grandhomme, Mitchell Santner, Lockie Ferguson, Trent Boult, Matt Henry(With IANS inputs)Also See:last_img read more