Date & Time: Friday, September 06, 19:00 IST
Venue: Pallekele International Cricket Stadium, Pallekele, Sri Lanka
Teams hope for no more injuries as Pallekele gears up for another close contest
The T20I series has been all about close margins and injuries where Sri Lanka has come second despite playing competitive cricket. While New Zealand proved to be the best despite playing with a depleted side starting from resting key players to players being ruled out due to injuries. The way both bowling units came back with improved bowling show in the second T20I is an area of adulation and they hope it continues to the dead rubber. When it comes to batting, the same thing cannot be said, as both sides are dependent on a few players to get the job done on both occasions.
Sri Lanka is forced to bring in Danushka Gunathilaka and Lahiru Madushanka in place of injured Kusal Mendis and Shehan Jayasuriya. New Zealand too is in for a few changes, one being Ross Taylor replacing Martin Guptill and the other is subjected to a fitness test of Tom Bruce. But, if he is deemed to be unfit, Hamish Rutherford could be the new addition to the squad.
The surface at Pallekele has produced good sporting games so far where the contest between bat and ball was pretty evident. For the final game, it is likely to be the same. The forecast is for a few showers in the afternoon but there is no rain threat for the match.
He seemed to be back to his best in the second T20I after a failure in the first. Now, with Mendis ruled out of the third, it allows him to open, position where he is more comfortable at, in his game.
Colin de Grandhomme
He has been a lifesaver for New Zealand in the two T20Is. He has played brisk knocks on both the occasions which allowed the Kiwis to keep up with the rate even with losing early wickets. In the final T20I, he is likely to replicate the same if the situation arises as he is adapting his game to the given situation.
He has not scored a knock that had a huge impact on the game but he has quietly done his job on both occasions. He has come up two 30+ scores and proved to be the most consistent Sri Lankan batsman in the series.
His return to the squad adds more confidence to the team in the batting front. His ability to play spin with ease is becoming crucial for Kiwis in the middle overs as other batsmen found it difficult in the last game with the surface slowing down a bit compared to the first game.