New Zealand starts their world cup campaign with a convincing victory over Sri Lanka in their first match.
New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson won the toss and decided that they would be bowling first. Wickets kept falling at regular intervals and the Sri Lankan innings never took off. With their captain, Karunraratne, scoring an unbeaten 52* off 84 balls and due to lack of support from any other batsmen, Sri Lanka managed to score only 136 runs.
New Zealand’s bowlers did an excellent job by restricting Sri Lanka to well below par total of 136. Matt Henry and Lockie Ferguson were top performers for New Zealand with the ball picking three wickets each. Trent Boult, James Neesham, Mitchell Santner, and Colin de Grandhomme also picked a bagged a wicket each.
New Zealand chased the target pretty easily in the end. They chased the target in 16.1 overs with both their openers Martin Guptill and Colin Munro staying unbeaten on 73* and 58* respectively.
Matt Henry was declared as the man of the match.
Now, let’s take a look at what both captains had to say after the match.
Karunaratne, SL skipper: “Of course, I think 136 was not enough in these conditions. Me and Kusal (Perera) batted well, but we lost wickets regularly after that. We need to build partnerships. In the morning it was seaming and swinging a little bit, and they had that advantage. They also had good bowlers to do that. Everyone is coming to watch some good entertaining cricket, so I’m looking forward to some good batting wickets. We batted well in practice games and practiced hard, but we need to understand when to accelerate and stay patient before we go for our shots. It’s tough to bat in these conditions, but we need to give ourselves a chance – after you get set, it’s much easier to bat, and the part-timers come on so it’s much easier to get runs against them.”
Williamson, NZ skipper: “A great start. Winning the toss and taking early wickets was crucial on that wicket. It was a terrific effort from the bowlers to keep that pressure for 30 overs. I don’t think there is a problem with these pitches. With the new ball in both innings, you can expect some movement. When you bowl a side out for a lowish total, it’s going to be quite a tough thing to defend, and the full ball won’t be as threatening against unconventional cricket. It was slowish movement, so it was a surface where, if you can see off the movement, it’s easier to bat, but we were fortunate to get early wickets because it stopped doing a lot at the back-end. In England, we can expect different kinds of wickets. In the warm-up games, we saw all kinds of attacks and wickets, so it is important to have a balanced attack for these wickets. We didn’t have too many conversations with the bowlers. But with the green tinge, you could expect the bowlers to be aggressive and they really were good up top. Munro played with freedom and played a lot of shots, and that’s going to infuse a lot of confidence, so we are hoping to carry this forward, on a different surface against a different opposition.”