New Zealand put in a dominant team effort to defeat Sri Lanka by 5 wickets with 160 balls to spare in their Cricket World Cup match played at the M. Chinnaswamy Cricket Stadium in Bangalore yesterday.
Led by Kane Williamson, the Kiwis controlled the game from the start, first restricting Sri Lanka to 171 before chasing down the target in just 23.2 overs with five wickets in hand.
This win puts them in a strong position to secure a semi-final berth. With 10 points and a positive net run rate, they have a high chance of facing India in the semi-final in Mumbai.
Devon Conway (45 runs in 42 balls with 9 fours) and Rachin Ravindra (42 runs in 34 balls with 3 fours and 3 sixes) provided an energetic start, adding 86 runs in 12.2 overs, which put pressure on the Sri Lankan bowlers.
Daryl Mitchell’s aggressive innings, which included 5 fours and 2 sixes, helped New Zealand reach their target with confidence as he scored 43 runs in 31 balls.
Angelo Mathews took 2 for 29, while Maheesh Theekshana and Dushmantha Chameera shared one wicket each. However, Dilshan Madushanka, the most successful bowler in this tournament, went wicketless and conceded away 58 runs in 6.2 overs. Trent Boult was adjudged the Man of the Match.
Sri Lanka won only two matches against England and Netherlands, having 4 points and settling in 9th place.
New Zealand captain Kane Williamson won the toss and elected to field, which turned out to be a good decision as Sri Lanka’s top order struggled. Only Kusal Janith Perera managed to score runs. After the first Power Play, Sri Lanka lost half of their side and were 74 for 5 wickets after ten overs. The top batsmen showed an irresponsible batting style and failed to adjust to the conditions.
New Zealand’s pace duo, Trent Boult and Tim Southee made an early breakthrough in Sri Lanka’s batting lineup. Opener Pathum Nissanka was out in the second over after scoring 2 runs in 8 balls, with wicketkeeper Tom Latham taking an easy catch off Southee’s bowling. Skipper Kusal Mendis once again gave a poor show and was back in the pavilion after scoring 6 runs (1 boundary). The catch was taken by Rachin Ravindra at third man position off Trent Boult.
Sadeera Samarawickrama (1) was sent back to the pavilion after three balls following the departure of Mendis. Boult struck twice in the 5th over, with Charith Asalanka, the last match’s centurion, falling to LBW after the decision was referred to the third umpire in favour of the Kiwis.
Angelo Mathews scored 16 in 27 balls with 2 fours, before being dismissed by spinner Mitchell Santner. Dhananjaya de Silva scored 19 runs in 24 balls with 2 fours and a six, but his innings was cut short by a low catch at slip taken by Daryl off Santner’s bowling.
Chamika Karunaratne who replaced Kasun Rajitha failed to impress with the bat, scoring only 6 runs in 17 balls with a four and giving a simple catch to wicketkeeper Latham. Sri Lanka were 113 for 8 wickets in 23.3 overs.
The mystery spinner Maheesh Theekshana turned out to be a good batsman as he scored a valuable 38 runs in 91 balls with 3 fours. The last man, Dilshan Madushanka played a good supporting and added a fighting 43-run stand to help Sri Lanka reach at 171. Madushanka hit 19 in 48 balls with 2 fours, while Theekshana was outstanding with the bat, scoring his career-best score of 38 in 91 balls with 3 fours.
The last pair Maheesh Theekshana and Dilshan Madushanka, showed senior batters how to get runs and stayed on the crease for 14 overs to collect important runs.
Trent Boult was the most successful bowler taking 3 for 37, while Lokie Ferguson, Mitchell Santner and Rachin Ravindra shared two wickets among them. Today (10), the Sri Lankan team will return home, while Afghanistan will meet South Africa in their game at Ahmadabad, where the final will be held on the 19th.