New Zealand win thriller against Lanka in Twenty20 WC opener

New Zealand win thriller against Lanka in Twenty20 WC opener

New Zealand's opener Jesse Ryder plays a shot during their Twenty20 Cricket World Cup match against Sri Lanka in Georgetown on Friday. AP

Chasing a victroy target of 136 runs, New Zealand needed 10 runs off the last over from express fast Lasith Malinga.

Nathan (16 off 6 balls),  younger brother of Brendon, struck a four moving across the off stump and piercing the gap in the fine leg to bring the equation down to four off three balls. New Zealand skipper Daniel Vettori (17) was run out while going for a second run in the next ball. Nathan then struck a powerful blow over long-off for a six to spark celebration in New Zealand camp.

It was Jacob Oram who pulled his team back in contention in an engrossing battle after Jesse Ryder (42 off 27 balls) and Martin Guptill (19) laid the foundation for the chase with a 62-run stand following the first over dismissal of Brendon.

With 38 runs required off 20 balls, big hitting  Oram (15) hit two sixes off Mendis in the 17th over to revive Kiwi hopes.

But Chanaka Welegedera bowled a superb 19th over, removing Oram in the first ball and then Hopkins was run out in the next. Vettori, who anchored the New Zealand innings in the later half, struck a four while Nathan stole three runs taking advantage of a missed run out chance to give themselves a real chance of finishing the match in the last over.

Earlier, Ryder and Guptill batted sensibly in a slow and spinning track to set the match for the Kiwis.

Ryder mixed caution with agression and struck three fours and two sixes in his 27-ball innings. But the introduction of two old war horses Muttiah Muralitharan (2-25) and Sanath Jayasuriya (1-17) slowed down the runs.

Ryder after hitting a six off Muraliatharan was clean bowled in the next ball while Jayasuriya got rid of Guptil in the next over (10th) with a yorker.

The spinners made it difficult for the Kiwi batsmen to score runs even as Vettori held the innings from one end. Scot Styris contributed 17 before Oram lead the fightback.

Sri Lanka after electing to bat first relied on Mahela Jayawardene brilliance to set up a challenging total.

Jayawardene smashed 81 off 51 balls as Sri Lanka posted 135 for six.

Jayawardene guided Sri Lanka through a difficult phase after the islanders made a slow start before recovering in the final overs.

Dinesh Chandimal was the second best contributor with 29 runs off 23 balls with the help of one four and one six.

New Zealand bowlers made good use of the slow track, taking the pace off the ball and not allowing dangerous Sri Lankan opener Tillekaratne Dilshan to get off to a good start.
Dilshan made just 3 off 19 balls before Jacob Oram rattled his stumps.

Sri Lanka found it difficult to score in the first 10 overs that fetched them only 54 runs. Jayawardene played with patience and waited for the bad balls to score.

He struck eight fours and two sixes before Tim Southee got his wicket in the 19th over.

SCOREBOARD

Sri Lanka:
Mahela Jayawardene  c N McCullum b Southee  81
Tillakaratne Dilshan  b Oram  3
Kumar Sangakkara  b Styris  4
Dinesh Chandimal  c Taylor b N McCullum  29
Chamara Kapugedera  c NL McCullum b Bond  11
Angelo Mathews  c NL McCullum b Bond  3
Sanath Jayasuriya  not out  0

Extras (lb 3, w 1) 4
Total (for six wickets in 20 overs) 135

Fall of wickets 1-35 (Dilshan, 5.4 ov), 2-44 (Sangakkara, 8.2 ov), 3-103 (Chandimal, 15.4 ov), 4-124 (Jayawardene, 18.1 ov), 5-135 (Kapugedera, 19.4 ov), 6-135 (Mathews, 19.6 ov) 

Bowling:
Nathan McCullum 3 0 17 1
Shane Bond 4 0 35 2
Tim Southee 4 0 21 1
Jacob Oram 3 0 23 1
Daniel Vettori 4 0 23 0
Scott Styris 2 0 13 1

New Zealand:
Brendon McCullum  c Malinga b Mathews  0
Jesse Ryder  b Muralitharan  42
Martin Guptill  b Jayasuriya  19
Ross Taylor  c Mathews b Muralitharan  9
Scott Styris  b Mendis  17
Daniel Vettori  run out (sub S Randiv/Malinga)  17
Jacob Oram  b Welegedara  15
G Hopkins  run out (Dilshan/Sangakkara)  1
Nathan McCullum  not out  16 6
Tim Southee  not out  0

Extras (b 2, w 1) 3     
Total (for eight wickets in 19.5 overs) 139

Fall of wickets 1-0 (BB McCullum, 0.4 overs), 2-62 (Ryder, 8.3), 3-66 (Guptill, 9.5), 4-86 (Taylor, 14.2), 5-96 (Styris, 16.2), 6-116 (Oram, 18.1), 7-117 (Hopkins, 18.2), 8-133 (Vettori, 19.4) 

Bowling:
Angelo Mathews 2 1 7 1
Chanaka Welegedara 2 0 21 1
Ajantha Mendis 4 0 34 1
Lasith Malinga 3.5 0 33 0
Muttiah Muralitharan 4 0 25 2
Sanath Jayasuriya 4 0 17 1

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