Mills appreciates familiar conditions in Pallekele

New Zealand

Captain Kyle Mills is banking on success at a familiar venue, ahead of New Zealand's two-match Twenty20 International series against Sri Lanka.

Captain Kyle Mills is banking on success at a familiar venue, ahead of New Zealand's two-match Twenty20 International series against Sri Lanka.

The Black Caps have been the most frequent visitor to the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium, since its debut in 2010, on the back of four ODIs and six T20Is.

Their last visit to the region brought a seven-wicket defeat in November 2012, when wicketkeeper-batsman BJ Watling's brisk 96 not out was upstaged by opener Tillakaratne Dilshan's quickfire century.

"We have played a reasonable amount of cricket here. In the last World Twenty20 we had a few games here and quite a few ODI games as well," said Mills.

"We know it swings around at night time. When we played Pakistan here Ross Taylor got a big ton. We batted first got a decent score and it swung around at night.

"If the environmental conditions are right – if it's quite humid – it will possibly swing around again."

All-rounder Jimmy Neesham, Corey Anderson and Nathan McCullum have served the Black Caps' batting order well recently and, while Anderson has since been sidelined by an injury, McCullum remains a key mainstay.

The hard-hitting right-hander was in outstanding form in this month's ODI series against the same opposition, striking an unbeaten 32 from a mere nine deliveries to orchestrate an unlikely win in Hambantota.

"The late-order guys have been in pretty good form the whole way through. The scores we were able to manage in the series here and also in Bangladesh when we scored 200 in a T20 game and 300 in a 50-over game was really good, "added MIlls.

"McCullum has been in good form the whole way through and he had a pretty good Champions league and A series in Sri Lanka. We bat pretty deep, so we've got full confidence in our batting order. Hopefully the top order can score a few more runs."

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