Brendon McCullum New Zealand
Brendon McCullum has been in good form for New ZealandReuters

New Zealand will look to maintain their unbeaten hold over Sri Lanka when the two sides meet in the 2nd ODI in Hamilton on Thursday.

The Kiwis have been in outstanding form of late, blowing away Sri Lanka in the Test match series, before showing some serious recovery skills in the first one-day international to ensure a 1-0 lead in the ODI series as well.

Chasing a modest target of 219 – Sri Lanka managed 218 only thanks to a wonderful century from Mahela Jayawardene – New Zealand got off to a flying start courtesy, who else, but Brendon McCullum, before a collapse saw them land behind the eight ball.

However, Corey Anderson played a quite mature, responsible innings, striking 81 in 96 deliveries to shepherd New Zealand home and increase Sri Lanka's woes.

While Anderson might have bailed them out in the first match, Ross Taylor, a top order mainstay, knows the importance of steady and quick runs from the top five Kiwi batsmen.

"We see our power as one of our strengths, but we need to keep wickets in hand so the power-hitters can come in and play their shots," said Taylor. "It was good for Corey to play a bit more of a mature innings and get the team out of a sticky situation.

"But looking forward to the World Cup, if we can leave them to do their power hitting, then whether we're chasing a score, or setting one, we can probably have a bit more of a dip than we did in Christchurch.

"[NZ coach Mike] Hesson and Brendon have said that we know the style of play we want to play, so it's just fine-tuning that more than playing with a different technique. We know how we want to play on New Zealand wickets, and what's been successful over the last little while.

"If we can keep to that blueprint, the team will be confident and we'll be able to put in some good performances as well."

For Sri Lanka it will be about finding their groove in these conditions. There is no worse way to go into a World Cup than shorn of confidence and while their experienced stalwarts continue to hit their marks, it is up to the younger generation to complement those performances with good knocks and bowling spells of their own.

The likes of Kumar Sangakkara and Jayawardene cannot carry Sri Lanka on their own to a World Cup title, or, indeed, it seems, to a single win on this tour of New Zealand.

Where to Watch Live

The match is scheduled for a 2 pm local time (1 am GMT, 6.30 am IST) start with no live coverage in India. Catch the action in the UK on Sky Sports 2 or via live streaming on Sky Go. Viewers in New Zealand can watch the match live on Sky Sport or Sky Go NZ. Viewers in Australia can watch the match on Fox Sports or while the game can also be live streamed online on Fox Sports Live.

Audience in the Middle East and North Africa can watch the match action live on OSN Sports or via a live stream on OSN Play. South Africa and Sub Saharan Africa viewers will be able to catch the game live on SuperSport or SuperSport online. Viewers in the US can catch the game on ESPN or Watch ESPN.

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