Following their Test series win over Sri Lanka in December, New Zealand will look to continue that success when they take on Sri Lanka in the first of three One-Day Internationals in Tauranga.
In the United States, the match is scheduled to start Wednesday night at 8 p.m. ET. While it won’t be broadcast nationally on television anywhere in the US, you can still watch a live stream of the game on your computer, phone or streaming device via ESPN+, the new digital streaming service from ESPN that has exclusive coverage to dozens of sporting events every week.
You can sign up for a free 7-day trial of ESPN+ right here, and you can then watch a live stream of the game on your computer via ESPN.com, or on your phone (Android and iPhone compatible), tablet, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, PlayStation 4, Xbox One or other streaming device via the ESPN app.
If you can’t watch live, all games–including New Zealand vs Sri Lanka–that are streamed on ESPN+ are also available to be watched afterwards on-demand via ESPN.com or the ESPN app.
New Zealand vs Sri Lanka 1st ODI Preview
New Zealand and Sri Lanka will meet in the opening round of the 2019 World Cup in June, so this three-match ODI series offers a good opportunity to prepare for that.
“It’s really now about looking ahead to the World Cup, being clear on the game plans we want to use,” New Zealand coach Gary Stead said.
Stead’s team, which is third behind England and India in the world ODI rankings, has actually lost four of their last six completed ODI matches, but they should still be favored for this series.
Not only does Sri Lanka have an atrocious ODI record over the last two years, losing 33 of 44 completed matches, but they’ll be without some important players in this one. Angelo Mathews is out after suffering a hamstring injury in the second Test last week, while Akila Dananjaya was suspended last month.
Still, Sri Lanka captain Lasith Malinga is confident in the ability of some of the team’s younger players.
“In the last three-four years we have been struggling,” he said. “We haven’t won consistently. But the young players have got opportunities and now is the time to stand up and show their character.”
For New Zealand, finding the right players for the World Cup squad will be the main task of this series.
“It’s about tweaking, looking at the style of play and how we want to play and looking at the options who fit those roles as well,” said Stead. “It’s definitely a trial period still.”
Martin Guptill, who hasn’t played for New Zealand in a year, has been recalled to the squad.
“Pretty much business as usual to be honest, I don’t see my role changing too much in the side,” he said. “I haven’t played for New Zealand since last summer which is quite a long time ago so to be back here is extremely exciting and I’m looking forward to getting back into it.”
Meanwhile, regular wicketkeeper-batsman Tom Latham will be rested, which means Tim Seifert will make his debut for New Zealand. Colin de Grandhomme is another who will be rested, while opportunities will arise for players such as James Neesham and Doug Bracewell to prove they belong in the World Cup squad.
“There are some players that have been rested, and that’s all part of a bigger picture,” said New Zealand captain Kane Williamson. “I’m excited for a number of guys who get the nod tomorrow.”
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