The Kiwis bring in a huge amount of confidence to this semi final and will not be put off by their 11/4 (YouWin.com) underdog tags. They were similarly priced last time out against South Africa and made a mockery of the bulk of predictions but things should be a lot tougher in Colombo.
They head to the ground in which England were so soundly beaten and while they should offer more, they will have to double their efforts to beat the high-class professionals of Sri Lanka.
Skittling South Africa was a good achievement but with the Proteas history of choking, the gloss was taken off the win so the bowlers will have to be on top form again. Tim Southee will be very important, he is 7/2 (888sport) to take the most wickets for NZ while Dan Vettori and Nathan McCullum will look to exploit the grip, they are 3/1 and 5/1 (Ladbrokes) respectively. Preference goes for captain Vettori.
Similar theory would go for Murali but his injury could restrict his overs so Malinga gets the nod at 12/5 (Paddy Power). Sangakkara and Jayawardene didn’t even get a chance to bat against England and they, along with Dilshan and Tharanga, form a lethal batting line-up which the Kiwi bowlers will struggle to keep under control. Importantly, NZ did field exceptionally well against South Africa and will need everything they’ve got to stop Sangakkara getting a top score (7/2, bet365).
In summary, New Zealand could have had their day in the sun. They will need Ryder, B McCullum and Taylor all to fire to stand a chance but Sri Lanka should go through to the Mumbai final.