NZ outclass inconsistent Sri Lanka


Going into their final Group ‘B’ league fixture desperately needing a win to keep their semifinal chances alive following their six-wicket loss at the hands of England, Sri Lanka allowed New Zealand to rattle along to 315 for seven in their 50 overs, courtesy half-centuries by opener Jesse Ryder and Martin Guptill after Kumar Sangakkara stuck the opposition in.

Despite leaving out star spinner Muttiah Muralitharan and plumping for a four-pronged seam attack, Sri Lanka had no answers against a side they had crushed at home not so long back as Ryder and Brendon McCullum set the tone with a 125-run stand for the first wicket.
Ryder, subsequently ruled out of the tournament with a groin injury, top-scored with 74 (56b, 10x4, 1x6), while Guptill made a measured 66 (76b, 3x4, 1x6).

Sri Lanka were never in the hunt, slipping to 141 for six, and only a 78-run seventh-wicket stand between Mahela Jayawardene and Nuwan Kulasekara propelled them to 277, reducing the margin of defeat. New Zealand skipper Daniel Vettori, who had provided the late thrust to the innings with 48 at better than a run a ball, finished with figures of two for 48 to earn the man of the match award.

The Lankans ended on two points, the same as South Africa, but with a marginally better run rate, and their hopes now revolve around England putting it across New Zealand in the final Group B tie on Tuesday and taking them through to the last four on nett run rate.

Score board

NEW ZEALAND
McCullum c Dilshan b Mathews    46
Ryder c S’kara b Kulasekara    74
Guptill b Malinga    66
Taylor c J’dene b Jayasuriya    4
Elliott lbw Mathews    0
Broom c J’rdene b Jayasuriya    15
Vettori c (sub) b Jayasuriya    48
Franklin (not out)    28
Mills (not out)    18
Extras (B-3, LB-2, W-8, NB-3)    16    
Total (for 7 wkts, 50 overs)    315
Fall of wickets: 1-125, 2-128, 3-133, 4-140, 5-161, 6-230, 7-284.
Bowling: Kulasekara 7-0-52-1, Thushara 7-0-50-0, Malinga 10-0-85-1, Mendis 9-1-49-0, Mathews 6-0-33-2, Jayasuriya 10-0-39-3, Kandamby 1-0-2-0.
SRI LANKA
Dilshan c (sub) Patel b Mills    41
Jayasuriya c Mills b Tuffey    24
Sangakkara c Taylor b Franklin    11
Jayawardene b Vettori    77
Samaraweera c Broom b Vettori    17
Kandamby (run out)    11
Mathews c Guptill b Franklin    2
Kulasekara (not out)    57
Thushara c Guptill b Mills    11
Malinga c Taylor b Mills    15
Mendis c Vettori b Tuffey    3
Extras (LB-2, W-5, NB-1)    8
Total (all out, 46.4 overs)    277
Fall of wickets: 1-66, 2-67, 3-85, 4-114, 5-137, 6-141, 7-219, 8-243, 9-262.
Bowling: Mills 10-0-69-3, Bond 9-0-82-0, Tuffey 8.4-1-39-2, Franklin 9-0-40-2, Vettori 10-0-45-2.

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