Cricket: Buoyant Kiwis gear for Sri Lanka’s spin trial

CARDIFF, June 8, 2013 (AFP) – New Zealand are preparing to face a spin barrage from Sri Lanka when the two sides meet in the Champions Trophy in Cardiff on Sunday. But Sri Lanka still lost that game with one over to spare as India rode Dinesh Karthik’s unbeaten 106 and Virat Kohli’s 144 to a five-wicket victory. New Zealand go into the tournament after a morale-boosting 2-1 one-day series win over hosts England, but Brendon McCullum’s side know Sri Lanka will throw up new challenges.

“We could conceivably be facing 30-35 overs of spin,” Black Caps coach Mike Hesson said ahead of the group A game. “We need to be proactive against it.”

Sri Lanka’s spin attack includes four capable tweakers in Sachitra Senanayake, Jeevan Mendis, Rangana Herath and Tillakaratne Dilshan. Unorthodox slow bowler Ajantha Mendis was not picked for the tournament.

With sling-arm fast bowler Lasith Malinga and steady seamer Nuwan Kulasekara also in the ranks, Sri Lanka have their options covered for what are expected to be good batting conditions in Cardiff.

India and South Africa played a high-scoring match at the same venue on Thursday, with the Proteas making 305 in repl