The 2018-19 Sri Lanka Tour of New Zealand begins this weekend, as the pair of international squads meet for the First Test match inside the Basin Reserve in Wellington.
How to Watch New Zealand vs Sri Lanka 1st Test in USA
For those who are in the United States, the 5-day Test match will start Friday at 2 p.m. ET and continue Saturday through Tuesday at the same time.
You can watch all five days of the Test match via ESPN+, the new streaming service from ESPN that will have coverage of the complete New Zealand vs Sri Lanka series, including both Tests (Dec. 14-18, Dec. 25-29), all three ODI’s (Jan. 2, Jan. 4, Jan. 7) and the T20I (Jan. 10).
You can sign up for a free 7-day trial of ESPN+ right here, and you can then watch a live stream of the Test match on your computer via ESPN.com, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the ESPN app.
If you can’t watch live, the Test will also be available to be watched on-demand afterwards via ESPN+.
New Zealand vs Sri Lanka 1st Test Preview
New Zealand’s 13-man squad for the upcoming two tests against Sri Lanka included just one slow bowler: Ajaz Patel, who took 13 wickets in three Test matches against Pakistan.
“Ajaz certainly grabbed his opportunity on the UAE tour and he’s a proven performer in New Zealand conditions,” team selector Gavin Larsen said.
That meant that Larsen decided to leave Will Somerville off the squad. The 34-year-old made his debut in the Black Caps’ most recent Test match against Pakistan at Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi and took seven wickets in a very impressive performance, but he was ultimately left off the squad.
“Will Somerville was an obvious stand-out on debut in the Abu Dhabi decider and it’s great to know we’ve got quality spin bowlers who can create competition for places,” Larsen said.
Here’s the full New Zealand squad: Kane Williamson (captain), Tom Latham, Jeet Raval, Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, Colin de Grandhomme, BJ Watling (wk), Will Young, Tim Southee, Matt Henry, Ajaz Patel, Trent Boult and Neil Wagner.
“There’s a real swell of support for the Test team following their efforts in the UAE, so we’re hoping to transition that momentum into a big home summer,” Larsen said.
As for Sri Lanka, The Lions dropped all three Tests against England at home in November. Akila Dananjaya took 10 wickets during that series, but Sri Lanka will be without him against New Zealand after he was suspended from international cricket due to an illegal action.
In 32 Test matches against New Zealand, Sri Lanka has eight wins and 10 draws–but the last victory came in Galle in 2012, and the last Test victory on New Zealand soil was all the way back in December of 2006. Overall, the Black Caps have won the past four Test matches against Sri Lanka.