ICC Cricket World Cup 2019: In-form Kiwis steamroll Sri Lanka

Omkar Paranjape
Sunday, 2 June 2019

New Zealand’s superb bowling display saw them dismantle a fragile Sri Lanka and open their World Cup campaign with a dominant 10-wicket win in Cardiff.

London: New Zealand’s superb bowling display saw them dismantle a fragile Sri Lanka and open their World Cup campaign with a dominant 10-wicket win in Cardiff. The dominating win for the Black Caps extends their grasp over Sri Lanka in ODIs to four consecutive matches dating back to December 2015. For Sri Lanka, this is their ninth loss in ten completed ODIs this year.

The manner of their defeat reinforces expectations that a limited Sri Lanka side will struggle in this tournament and they now face a tough match against Afghanistan on Tuesday.

Only Karunaratne showed the patience and resistance required, carefully compiling a fine half-century by predominantly tapping straight balls off his pads, although he was fortunate not to be bowled when an inside edge hit the stumps but did not dislodge the bails.

Thisara Perera smacked two sixes before he was caught for 27 but Karunaratne soon ran out of partners, becoming only the second opener since West Indies’ Ridley Jacobs in 1999 to carry his bat in a World Cup match.

Henry’s superb spell
But it was Henry’s spell of seven straight overs that opened the gates for New Zealand’s domination against the 1996 champions.

“It’s a great start for us. You want a balanced attack going into any surface. It is important that you have that to have aggressive options for different occasions,” New Zealand captain Kane Williamson said in a post-match interview.

“The two at the top played beautifully. It was nice for those guys to play a few shots. It was a good all-round performance.”

Henry stood out in the absence of senior paceman Tim Southee, who missed the game due to a calf injury, with his incisive pace and swing.

Kiwi openers flourish
New Zealand’s openers Martin Guptill (73 not out) and Colin Munro (58 not out) wasted little time in the reply, chasing the miserly target in 16.1 overs. This included a mighty Guptill straight six, which sailed out of the stadium and into the river, to the delight of a crowd left in danger of being short-changed. The fours kept flowing which lessened the asking rate with ease, and by the time Guptill dumped Isuru Udana over long-on for six to get his half-century off 39 balls, the match was long over as a contest.
The Black Caps, who have been labelled the dark horses of this World Cup, demonstrated why there is nothing dark about them- except for the colour of their jersey that is!

Sri Lanka Innings: Lahiru Thirimanne lbw b Henry 4 (2b, 1x4), Dimuth Karunaratne not out 52 (84b, 4x4), Kusal Perera c de Grandhomme b Henry 29 (24b, 4x4), Kusal Mendis c Guptill b Henry 0 (1b), Dhananjaya de Silva lbw b Ferguson 4 (13b, 1x4), Angelo Mathews c Latham b de Grandhomme 0 (9b), Jeevan Mendis c Neesham b Ferguson 1 (4b), Thisara Perera c Boult b Santner 27 (23b, 2x6), Isuru Udana c Henry b Neesham 0 (3b), Suranga Lakmal c Santner b Boult 7 (13b, 1x4), Lasith Malinga b Ferguson 1 (2b).
Extras: 11 (b 1, nb 2, w 8). Total: 136 all out.

Fall of wickets: 1-4, 2-46, 3-46, 4-53, 5-59, 6-60, 7-112, 8-114, 9-130.
Bowling: Matt Henry 7-0-29-3, Trent Boult 9-0-44-1, Lokie Ferguson 6.2-0-22-3, Colin de Grandhomme 2-0-14-1, Jimmy Neesham 3-0-21-1, Mitchell Santner 2-0-5-1.

New Zealand Innings: Martin Guptill not out 73 (51b, 8x4, 2x6), Colin Munro not out 58 (47b, 6x4, 1x6).
Extras: 6 (lb 3, nb 1, w 2). Total: 137 for no loss.
Bowling: Lasith Malinga 5-0-46-0, Suranga Lakmal 4-0-28-0, Isuru Udana 3-0-24-0, Thisera Perera 3-0-25-0, Kusal Mendis 1.1-0-11-0.

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