Black Caps Out to Seal Series Victory in Style

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New Zealand look to wrap up their five-match T20 series with Australia while Sri Lanka start their tour of West Indies on Wednesday.

New Zealand's Kane Williamson and Ish Sodhi

New Zealand love getting one over neighbours Australia and they have taken a 2-0 lead in the five-match Twenty20 series between the trans-Tasman rivals.

The Black Caps are 10/13 to seal victory in the series by beating the 20/21 Aussies in the third game in Wellington on Wednesday (6am GMT start).

New Zealand are worth backing for victory at a venue where they had won six consecutive Twenty20 internationals before last year’s tied game against India.

The Kiwis thrashed Australia by 53 runs in the first match of the series and outplayed them for the majority of the second game in Dunedin.

Aussies in a Spin Against Sodhi and Santner

A late flurry of sixes from Marcus Stoinis (78 off 37 balls) and Daniel Sams (41 off 17) reduced New Zealand’s margin of victory to four runs but their spinners again caused serious problems for the visiting batsmen.

Ish Sodhi claimed 4-28 in the first game and Mitchell Santner took 4-31 in the second match, with Sodhi chipping in with the big wicket of Aaron Finch.

Both spinners are 10/3 to be New Zealand’s top wicket-taker in the third game and leggie Sodhi gets the nod, having picked up nine scalps in his last four Wellington T20 internationals.

Josh Philippe is one of the most exciting prospects in Australian cricket and he is worth backing at 4/1 to be their top runscorer from number three in the batting order.

The 23-year-old showed a glimpse of his potential in the second game in Dunedin, blasting three sixes in a lively innings of 45, and he was the leading Australian runscorer in this season’s Big Bash.

Windies Working to Regain Twenty20 Crown

The West Indies started 2021 with a memorable Test series victory in Bangladesh but they are changing gear with three home Twenty20 internationals against Sri Lanka.

Windies coach Phil Simmons says this series is an important part of his side’s preparation for October’s T20 World Cup, a tournament that the men from the Caribbean won in 2012 and 2016.

The West Indies have recalled their big guns for this series with skipper Kieron Pollard leading a squad that includes veterans Dwayne Bravo, Fidel Edwards and the 41-year-old Chris Gayle.

The first instalment of the three-match series is on Wednesday at Antigua’s Coolidge Cricket Ground, and Sri Lanka may be up against it as they have lost their last seven completed Twenty20 internationals.

Runs May Continue to Flow for Simmons in Antigua

The short boundary on one side of the ground could be difficult for the Sri Lank bowlers to defend against a Windies batting line-up that is packed with powerful hitters.

Opener Lendl Simmons is certainly a fan of the Coolidge venue, having scored 102, 68 and 146 there for Trinidad & Tobago in last month’s 50-over Super50 Cup matches.

Simmons cracked an unbeaten 67 against Sri Lanka in Pallekele last March and scored 91 not out against Ireland in his last home T20 international and could be worth considering to top-score for the hosts.

*All odds correct at time of writing

Rob has around 20 years journalism experience and has written and commentated on the likes of football, cricket and rugby. He also has an impressive background in racquet sports and regularly provides content on the likes of tennis and badminton.

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