New Zealand won the toss and elected to bowl first against Sri Lanka in a crucial World Cup game at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium on Thursday (November 9), with both teams hoping the rain stays away.
After winning their opening four matches, New Zealand have lost as many on the trot to sit fourth in the standings, level on eight points with Pakistan and Afghanistan.
To clinch the last semi-final place and join India, South Africa and Australia, the Black Caps must win their final pool game in Bengaluru and also finish with a higher net run rate than the other two teams in the hunt.
Defeat would mean they will hope Pakistan and Afghanistan both lose their final matches against England and South Africa respectively, with net run rate coming into play again.
New Zealand made one change, bringing in fit-again seamer Lockie Ferguson for spinner Ish Sodhi.
“A little bit of weather around. A few unknowns,” said New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson. “Our focus has been on the type of cricket we want to play. Hopefully we can make a few improvements on past performances.”
Ninth-placed Sri Lanka cannot qualify for the knockouts and are seeking a victory to boost their chances of finishing in the top eight to secure a place in the 2025 Champions Trophy.
Sri Lanka brought in all-rounder Chamika Karunaratne for Kasun Rajitha.
New Zealand: Devon Conway, Rachin Ravindra, Kane Williamson, Daryl Mitchell, Tom Latham, Glenn Phillips, Mark Chapman, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Lockie Ferguson, Trent Boult.
Sri Lanka: Kusal Perera, Pathum Nissanka, Kusal Mendis, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Charith Asalanka, Angelo Mathews, Dhananjaya de Silva, Chamika Karunaratne, Maheesh Theekshana, Dushmantha Chameera, Dilshan Madushanka.