Sri Lanka’s captain Kusal Mendis (R) and his New Zealand’s counterpart Kane Williamson gesture after the toss before the start of the 2023 ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup one-day international (ODI) match between New Zealand and Sri Lanka at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on 9 November, 2023

New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson won the toss and elected to field against Sri Lanka on Thursday as they make a last push for a World Cup semi-final berth with rain threatening to play spoilsport.

The Kiwis have lost four straight matches and made one change from their previous defeat to Pakistan in a rain-hit game at the same venue in Bengaluru last weekend.

Fit-again fast bowler Lockie Ferguson comes in for leg-spinner Ish Sodhi.
"A little bit of weather around. A few unknowns," said Williamson.

"Our focus has been on the type of cricket we want to play. Hopefully we can make a few improvements on past performances."

The Kiwis remain slight favourites in the hunt for the remaining semi-final spot as they have a better run rate than rivals Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Victory in the match and defeats for Pakistan and Afghanistan will take them clear on 10 points and into the semis, but a loss will leave their fate out of their hands.

Table-toppers India, South Africa and Australia have already booked their places in the final-four of the 10-team tournament.

Sri Lanka, led by Kusal Mendis, are already out of the semi-final race but have Champions Trophy qualification on the line.

The top seven teams from this World Cup will gain entry into the 2025 tournament where hosts Pakistan will have automatic qualification.

The team are still hurting from the "timed out" dismissal -- the first in international cricket history -- for Angelo Mathews in their previous loss to Bangladesh.Mendis said New Zealand "is a calm team" when asked about their previous ill-tempered encounter with Bangladesh.

Bowling all-rounder Chamika Karunaratne takes the place of fast bowler Kasun Rajitha.


New Zealand: Devon Conway, Rachin Ravindra, Kane Williamson (capt), Daryl Mitchell, Mark Chapman, Glenn Phillips, Tom Latham (wkt), Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Trent Boult, Lockie Ferguson

Sri Lanka: Pathum Nissanka, Kusal Perera, Kusal Mendis (capt/wkt), Sadeera Samarawickrama, Charith Asalanka, Angelo Mathews, Dhananjaya de Silva, Chamika Karunaratne, Maheesh Theekshana, Dushmantha Chameera, Dilshan Madushanka

Umpires: Adrian Holdstock (RSA), Joel Wilson (WIS)

TV Umpire: Richard Kettleborough (ENG)

Match Referee: Javagal Srinath (IND)