Brendon McCullum gave the cricket World Cup the explosive opening organisers had hoped for with a blazing innings inspired captaincy to give New Zealand a 98-run victory over Sri Lanka on today.
McCullum blasted 65 runs in a 111-run opening stand with Martin Guptill (49), before Kane Williamson (57) and Corey Anderson (75) gave New Zealand an imposing 331 for six after being asked to bat by Angelo Mathews at Hagley Oval.
McCullum's biggest contribution to the game, however, probably came when the visitors had established a handy platform to attack at the conclusion of 21 overs with the score on 119 for one and Lahiru Thirimanne and Kumar Sangakkara well set.
Left arm pace bowler Trent Boult had been taken for 15 runs from his two previous overs but McCullum persisted with the 25-year-old, who managed to produce one of the few deliveries to swing all day when he bowled Thirimanne for 65.
McCullum then brought back Daniel Vettori, who had earlier deceived Tillakaratne Dilshan (24) to take a simple caught and bowled opportunity, to attack new batsman Mahela Jayawardene, who was caught behind by Luke Ronchi for a four-ball duck.
Boult then trapped Sangakkara in front with another late swinging delivery five balls later to reduce Sri Lanka to 129 for four, effectively ending their chances given the top four had scored most of their runs during the one-day series against New Zealand in January.
Adam Milne then took two wickets in the 32nd over, and while Mathews produced a cameo of 46, Tim Southee mopped up the tail with two wickets as Sri Lanka were dismissed for 233 in 46.1 overs.
McCullum and Guptill had given New Zealand a flying start before the introduction of left-arm spinner Rangana Herath dried up the scoring rate.
Sri Lanka then wasted a series of missed opportunities, with Williamson dropped twice and while Jeevan Mendis took two wickets in two balls to give them a chance of running through the lower order, Grant Elliott and Anderson consolidated the innings with 65 from 10 overs.
Luke Ronchi (29 not out) and Anderson then scored 73 runs in the final 38 balls before the burly left hander was dismissed on the last delivery of the innings.(Reuters)
Comments - 26
aja Saturday, 14 February 2015 03:41 PM
Think Aussie Conditions will help us this not excuse but cold conditions difficult , bowling change needed Malinga looks pathetic , Kumar and Mahela will need to bat thru if we are done ..
Amith Sunday, 15 February 2015 06:43 AM
Sachithra Senanayake should have played in place of Dimuthu or Mendis .
Sri Wickrema Saturday, 14 February 2015 04:26 PM
Beginning of the end so early?
kit kit Saturday, 14 February 2015 05:31 PM
hopeless .... via DM Android App
ajith Saturday, 14 February 2015 05:35 PM
Our balling attack is pathetic. Kulasekara sgd. Be taken out immediately. Jean mendis poor display. Mahela shd open with dilshan. If not just forget about. WC 2015.
duminda Sunday, 15 February 2015 09:32 AM
SANATH JAYASURIYA( MAHINDA"S HENCHMAN) should step down immediately after the world cup.
sss Saturday, 14 February 2015 06:02 PM
loaded with medium pacers giving batting practice, where are the crafty spinners
Waco Sunday, 15 February 2015 09:45 AM
Why Mahela is not allowed to open for Sri Lanka . High time for Sanath to retire.
Jayasiri Sunday, 15 February 2015 12:43 PM
It was a very diappointing start for Sri Lanka. Most disappointing was lack of leadership from Matthew and on the field decision making. Maliga and Kulasekera conceded 162 rus in 18 overs and most successfull bowler Medis who took 2 wickets for 5 runs given only 2 overs. As a result of Mathews lack of a game plan we gave atleast 60 unnecessary runs putting our top order batsman under undue pressure.
Dan Saturday, 14 February 2015 06:41 PM
The mysterious thins is when Jeevan Mendis took 02 wickets for just 05 runs in 02 overs, why Captain did not continue with him??? at least for another couple of overs? but he continued with Kulasekera who gave over 9.5 runs per over... this is match fixing to me.
Kiris Baba Amaray Saturday, 14 February 2015 06:57 PM
Our performance is totally disappointing. Bad team selection. Malinga is out of form
Desmond Jeromme Saturday, 14 February 2015 06:59 PM
Yes Upul Tharanga should come back, Malinga should go out, even Jayawardene should not play anymore.
jimmy perra Saturday, 14 February 2015 08:31 PM
Fall of Sri Lankan Cricket. Loosing to Zimbabwe even at a warm up is record breaking. There is nothing you can do now at this world cup. Let it go come back and change the selection committee starting from the head. They are all political appointees from previous regime. There must be a selector for each department. Sustain Vaz for the bowling department an even include Murali. May be Arvinda for batting. The game should be free of politicians. Rest be assured Sri Lankan Cricket will rise again.
Neil Wijeratne Saturday, 14 February 2015 09:05 PM
Who was testing Malinga whether ge was fit to play for world?Did anybody instruct the Captain that whatever happens Malinga.must bowl all 10 overs?He was bowling all over the country side except the bwicket.And both Mccallum and Anderson were having a carnival with him including reverse sweeps to the delight of the NZ dpectators. Sorry for saying this but he should not be bowling anymore for this world. Why were resting the spinners, to play against Afghanistan?
JANAKA Saturday, 14 February 2015 01:01 PM
VERY DISPOINTING START, DROP DIMUTHU AND BRING BACK UPUL THARANGA TO OPEN WITH DILSHAN AND LET THIRIMANA BAT IN NO 4. I AM SURE IF WE GO WITH DIMUTHU WE WILL END UP NO WHERE
capa Saturday, 14 February 2015 01:08 PM
please stop karunarathne and bring back upul tharanga via DM Android App
cheers Saturday, 14 February 2015 01:47 PM
Malinga is not match fit at all and his performance will be costly for SL and one would thing Chameera will be a better inclusion
Lanka Shantha Saturday, 14 February 2015 01:49 PM
Take out all the players with big belly.Bring young blood.
Ceylonese Saturday, 14 February 2015 02:06 PM
Good news is Malinga had got his rhythm in last 3 overs.
ron Saturday, 14 February 2015 02:13 PM
Too late Tharanga is not part of WC squad
Wellwisher Saturday, 14 February 2015 02:24 PM
Politicizing cricket is the reason for our cricket failure. Young talented cricketers lost their opportunities because of opportunities given for the sons of politicians. Many many examples.
Shiromi Saturday, 14 February 2015 02:30 PM
It was obvious that Dilshan was trying hard to get out today. Sachithra senanayaka should find a place in the team.
K Perera Saturday, 14 February 2015 11:24 PM
Why Tisara Perera not included to the world cup opener?
wele suda Saturday, 14 February 2015 02:58 PM
Thanks Sanath. Pas is coming out.
common sence Monday, 16 February 2015 08:09 AM
Poor captancy by mathews....he gave only 2 overs for jeewan mendis who bowled beautifully
haris Saturday, 14 February 2015 03:28 PM
In the past blame was for Mahinda.
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