Fri, 18 Mar 2011 - New Zealand vs Sri Lanka, World Cup 2011, 38th match Group A - Bulletin
Sangakkara, Murali script easy SL win
New Zealand succumbed to inspired Sri Lankan bowling performance led by champion off spinner Muthaih Muralitharan to get bundled out for paltry 153 while chasing a target of 266 runs in the group A match played at Wankhede.
After a special ton by skipper Kumar Sangakkara to give his team’s first innings score some sort of respectability, it was Muralitharan who captured four wickets for just 25 runs in his eight overs to put the Kiwis chase in tatters and help his team to score a comfortable 112 run win to go to the top of the table of their group.
Never ever during the chase, New Zealand looked to threaten the target as wickets fell regularly and Sri Lankan bowlers giving nothing away bowling some aggressive but disciplined lines and lengths on a pitch that wasn’t favorable for the stroke making.
Murali, who had injured his leg while making an unsuccessful attempt to reach the crease during his batting effort, wasn’t bothered by the injury and bowled beautifully to rip heart out of Kiwis middle order batting lineup.
Ajantha Mendis also showed signs of coming back into his wicket taking form taking two wickets while Lasith Malinga, Nuwan Kulasekra, Angelo Mathews and Tilkeratne Dilshan claimed a wicket each.
None of the kiwis batsmen looked confident and settled at the crease with stand in skipper Ross Taylor making 33 while others getting starts but not able to convert them into substantial scores.
After winning the toss, Kumar Sangakkara ‘s brilliant century , fifty from Mahela Jayawardene and a breezy knock in the late overs by Angelo Mathews helped Sri Lanka to put up a total of 265 runs on a Wankhede pitch that was getting slower as the game progressed.
Sri Lankan lower order batsmen, however, undid the good work put by the Sangakkara-Jayawardene pair by losing their wickets cheaply in the end overs barring Mathews who batted sensibly to give Lankan total much needed impetus.
After opting to bat first Sri Lankan were tottering at 19 for the loss of two wickets inside five overs but the duo used their all experience to register a well thoughtout fightback in which they not only absorbed the pressure but kept the scoreboard ticking over.
Sangakkara was the fluent from the word go hitting some lovely copy book drives to put pressure back on Kiwi bowlers and combined with Mahela to amass 145 runs for the third wicket.
Sangakkara who completed his 9,000 runs when he scored his 49th run making him fourth Sri Lankan to achieve the feat produced a masterclass hitting a well paced century, accelerating when his team needed the most.
His 111 run innings came off 128 balls including twelve fours and two sixes while Mahela lucky not to be given out by third umpire when it appeared that Nathan Mcullum had caught the ball cleanly in his follow through lacked fluency early in his batting but got that back after the reprieve. He played some cheeky and clever shots on his way to a 90-ball 64 including six fours.
Once Jayewardene was gone, Lanka decided to give Mathews as promotion in the batting order and he alongwith his skipper accelerated the scoring rate with Sri Lanka score 210 in the 42nd over.
Kumar’s dismissal triggered a late order collapse with batsmen in pursuit scoring quick runs succumbed to some wily bowling by the Kiwis changing their pace and line and length effectively.
It was Angelo though who kept the scoreboard tacking over hitting some lusty blows in his undefeated 35-ball 41. Tim Southee and Nathan Mcullum were the most successful Kiwi bowlers taking three and two wickets respectively while Oram and Styris claimed a wicket each.
New Zealand team suffered a major blow during the field with fast bowler Hamish Bennet leaving the field due to an injury only when he was bowling his fifth over and were forced to accommodate his overs by making part timers to bowl.
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