After his emotional retirement last month from one day international competition, as The Inquisitr reported, Sri Lanka fast bowling legend Lasith Malinga is back on the cricket pitch to captain his country's T20 International side as they face New Zealand. For both teams, it will be the start of a year's worth of preparation for the T20 World Cup, which opens in October of 2020, in Australia. But the 36-year-old Malinga, who played his first T20I match in 2006, will be surrounded by mostly young Sri Lankan players, as the team remains far from figuring out the best combination to challenge for the short format championship, which Sri Lanka won in 2014. They will try to solve the problem in the match that will livestream from Pallekele.
To find out how to watch a live online stream of the Sri Lanka vs. New Zealand first T20 International match, see the streaming information at the bottom of this article. First ball is scheduled to be bowled at 7 p.m. India Standard Time on Sunday, September 1, at the 22,000-capacity Pallekele International Cricket Stadium, in Pallekele, Kandy, Sri Lanka. That start time will be the same for viewers inside India. In New Zealand, that start time will be 1:30 a.m. on Monday morning, September 2, New Zealand Standard Time.
The match will get started at 7:30 p.m. Bangladesh Standard Time. In the United States, cricket fans can catch the first T20I match between host Sri Lanka and visiting New Zealand at a start time of 9:30 a.m. EDT on Sunday, 6:30 a.m. PDT on Sunday.
On the New Zealand side, selectors have also engaged in some experimentalism, resting Captain Kane Williamson as well as left-arm fast bowling star Trent Boult, according to CricInfo. The Black Caps have placed 30-year-old outswing specialist Tim Southee, playing his 58th T20 international since his 2008 debut, in charge of the side.
But while New Zealand fields a squad more laden with familiar names than the Sri Lanka entry in the three-match T20 bilateral series, the focus will be on wicketkeeper Tim Seifert and top-order batsman Tom Bruce, both of whom will be effectively auditioning for places in next year's T20 World Cup.
Here are the expected teams for the first Sri Lanka vs. New Zealand T20I in Kandy.
Sri Lanka: 1. Danushka Gunathilaka, 2. Niroshan Dickwella (wicketkeeper), 3. Avishka Fernando, 4. Kusal Perera, 5. Shehan Jayasuriya, 6. Dasun Shanaka, 7. Wanindu Hasaranga, 8. Isuru Udana, 9. Lasith Malinga (captain), 10. Kasun Rajitha, 11. Lahiru Kumara.
New Zealand: 1. Martin Guptill, 2. Colin Munro, 3. Tim Seifert (wicketkeeper), 4. Tom Bruce, 5. Ross Taylor, 6. Colin de Grandhomme, 7. Mitchell Santner, 8. Todd Astle, 9. Tim Southee (captain), 10. Seth Rance, 11. Lockie Ferguson.
Watch a preview of the Sri Lanka vs. New Zealand T20I series opener in the video below, courtesy of ThePapare.comTo watch a live online stream of the first T20I match in Sri Lanka, as well as in India, Sony Six has the streaming rights to the Sri Lanka-New Zealand series. In New Zealand, Sky Go New Zealand will stream the match live.
In the United States, the best option is to sign up for a one-week free trial of the Sling TV international sports package. The package includes Willow TV, which is carrying the streaming video of Sri Lanka vs. New Zealand as they begin preparations for the 2020 World T20 Cup.