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Sri Lanka vs New Zealand 1st Test - Mathews tipped to steer Sri Lanka to victory in Galle

Williamson can score runs amid Sri Lankan spin onslaught
Sri Lanka test cricket
Sri Lanka will be brimming with confidence after beating South Africa in their last Test series (Getty Images)

Sri Lanka vs New Zealand 1st Test Preview, Predictions, Betting Tips & Live Stream


Sri Lanka host New Zealand at the Galle International Stadium as both teams get their Test Championship underway. On a pitch that will be conducive to spin, I believe Sri Lanka can win while Angelo Mathews is tipped to be among the runs for the hosts.

Kane Williamson is the Black Caps' best player of spin so there is value in backing him to be their best first innings batsman.

Sri Lanka Form & Team News


Sri Lanka come into this series high on confidence after beating South Africa 2-0 in South Africa in their last series. Angelo Mathews is back in the fold and in fantastic form, he averages 57.84 runs against New Zealand and is tipped to be the hosts’ best first innings batsman at 4.50.

In the last test at St Georges Park, South Africa scored 222 and Sri Lanka 154. The hosts were then dismissed for 128 runs leaving Sri Lanka to chase 195 runs for victory. Oshada Fernando scored 75 and Kusal Mendis 84 runs as Sri Lanka cruised to victory with eight wickets still standing.

There is value at 3.00 for Sri Lanka to claim a home victory. The conditions will suit them and they have beaten New Zealand in all three previous meetings in Galle.

Angelo Mathews test batting
Angelo Mathews is back in the Sri Lankan Test squad after injury and can make a real difference to their batting strength (Getty Images)

New Zealand Form & Team News


New Zealand will have their work cut out on pitches not suitable to their strengths. Their fast bowlers that generally dominate in New Zealand will find a placid, batsman friendly pitch that starts favouring the spinners on day three, four and five.

The Black Caps test form has been superb, winning six of their last nine matches with two draws and one defeat. That one defeat came on the sub-continent against Pakistan in Dubai.

New Zealand were convincing winners in their last test match against Bangladesh at the Basin Reserve. Neil Wagner took 4-28 as Bangladesh were bowled out for 211. In response Ross Taylor scored 200 and Henry Nicholls 107 runs as New Zealand piled on 432 runs.

Bangladesh were bowled out for 209 runs with Neil Wagner taking 5-45 and the hosts won by an innings and 12 runs.

In the batsman runs market it is hard to look past Kane Williamson. He averages 80.66 against Sri Lanka in Test cricket and has been in fantastic test form with an average of 77.08 over the last 9 test matches. He is tipped to be the Black Caps top first innings batsman at 3.00.

New Zealand are slight favourites to win the match at 2.30 but away from home I think they may struggle.

Sri Lanka vs New Zealand Head to Head


New Zealand have won 15 and lost eight of their 34 tests matches against Sri Lanka with 11 draws. In Sri Lanka the Black Caps have only won once in their last eight test matches.

The last time they met was in December 2018 in New Zealand and the hosts annihilated the visitors in Christchurch. New Zealand scored 178 runs, Sri Lanka replied with 108 before the hosts scored 585 runs in their second innings. Sri Lanka were bowled out for 236 runs, losing by 423 runs. 

Sri Lanka vs New Zealand Match Up


This match will be decided by which teams’ batsmen handle spin bowling best. Sri Lanka should have the upper hand in the spin bowling department which leads me to believe New Zealand could struggle.

Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor will be the key considering that they are the Black Caps best players of spin.

Kane Williamson test batting
Kane Williamson will be a massive player for New Zealand during their tour of Sri Lanka considering that he is their best player of spin bowling (Getty Images)

Sri Lanka vs New Zealand Key Statistics


  • Sri Lanka have won all 3 test matches against New Zealand at Galle.
  • Sri Lanka’s Angelo Mathews averages 57.84 runs against New Zealand in test matches.
  • New Zealand’s Kane Williamson averages 77.08 runs in his last 9 test matches.
  • New Zealand’s Kane Williamson averages 80.66 runs against Sri Lanka in 12 test matches.

Verdict

New Zealand have never won in Galle while Sri Lanka are a formidable force at home. I am backing the hosts to come away with a victory at 3.00 while Angelo Mathews is tipped to be their best first innings batsman at 4.50.

Kane Williamson has been in superb test match batting form with an average of 77.08 so there is value in him to be the Black Caps best first innings batsman.

Best Bet: Sri Lanka Win @3.00 at bet365 - 3 Units
New Zealand Best First Innings Batsman Tip: Kane Williamson @3.00 at bet365 - 2 Units
Sri Lanka Best First Innings Batsman Tip: Angelo Mathews @4.50 at bet365 - 1 Unit

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Test Match Cricket Previews & Tips

Post bet analysis

This was a fantastic test match. New Zealand got what they wanted by batting first and them didn't allow Sri Lanka to get much of a lead in the first innings. Kane Williamson was poor but Ross Taylor performed admirably. Angelo Mathews looked in fantastic form but he only managed 50 runs in the first innings.
14 Aug 2019

Sri Lanka v New Zealand - 1st Test

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