Cardiff, Jun 1: Riding on Martin Guptill 73 runs off 51 balls and Colin Munro 58 runs off 47 balls, New Zealand thrashed Sri Lanka by 10 wickets in the World Cup match here at the Sophia Gardens on Saturday.
Martin and Colin approached the chase smoothly and and stitched a 137 runs-partnership. Both the New Zealand openers scored fifties and handed Sri Lanka their first 10-wicket loss in a World Cup match. Guptill 73 runs included 8 fours and 2 sixes while Colin 58 runs included 4 sixes and 1 six.
The match was beautifully set up by the Kiwi bowlers. They utilized the early conditions to peg Sri Lanka back and the Asian team never really recovered after the early blows.
Earlier, after put into bat, Sri Lankan skipper Dimuth Karunaratne was the only batsman who scored 51 runs but it went in vain as New Zealand bowlers dished out a clinical performance to restrict Sri Lanka to a mere total of 135 runs.Matt Henry (3/29) and Lockie Ferguson (3/22) didn't allow Sri Lankan batsmen to settle down on the crease and score runs.
Sri Lankan got off to a disastrous start as they lost their first wicket on a score of 4 runs in the first overs. Lahiru Thirimanne (4) walked to pavilion as he was lbw by Henry.
Karunaratne added 40 runs for the second wicket with Kusal Perera giving some hope to the their fans that Sri Lanka might score big total against Kiwis, but unfortunately Henry struck again broke the most needed partnership as he dismissed Perera on a score of 29 runs off 24 balls in 8.1 over. Perera inning included 4 fours.
Since Perera fell to Henry, from there none of the batsmen gave support to their skipper Karunaratne and walked back to the hut one after another. Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews and Isuru Udana were dismissed for a duck while Jeevan Mendis walked to pavilion with scoring one run.However, Karunaratne and Thisara Perera played handsomely under pressure and stitched a 52-runs-partnership for the seventh wicket, but Thisara journey came to an end on a score of 27 runs off 23 balls as Mitchell Santner grabbed his first wicket in the match. Thisara was caught by Trent Boult on Mitchell Santner's ball in 23.4 overs.
After Thisara wicket, struggling Sri Lanka were left with no other alternative to keep the score board running and were bundled out on a mere total of 135 runs by the kiwis.
However, Karunaratne added 16 runs with Suranga Lakmal (7) for the ninth wicket and took his team from 114 to 130 runs in 28.1 over. Lasith Malinga with one run remained unbeaten.
For New Zealand, Matt Henry took three wickets and Lockie Ferguson took three wickets. Other bowlers Colin de Grandhomme, Jimmy Neesham and Mitchell Santner took one wicket each. Trent Boult too got one wicket and remained on of the most expensive bowler in the match by spending 44 runs. (UNI)