Luke Ronchi, Grant Elliott post new record as New Zealand thrash Sri Lanka
Wellington, Jan 23 (IANS) A record 267-run sixth-wicket unbeaten partnership between Luke Ronchi (170) and Grant Elliott (104), on Friday, helped New Zealand beat Sri Lanka by 108 runs in the fifth one-day international (ODI) of the 7-match series, at Dunedin's University Oval.
The New Zealanders were in trouble in the first innings before Ronchi came to the rescue and ripped up the record books in an emphatic fashion.
The 33-year-old, who got New Zealand home three days ago in Nelson with a crucial 15 ball-32, was the key man again when he blasted an incredible maiden ODI century.
The wicketkeeper-batsman joined Elliott at the crease when the home side were reeling at 93 for five, but the pair notched up a world-record 267-run sixth-wicket partnership to guide their team to an intimidating 360 for five.
In reply, Sri Lanka, led by Tillakaratne Dilshan (116 off 106 balls) and skipper Lahiru Thirimanne 46, were looking to complete the highest ever chase on New Zealand soil having started in a buoyant fashion. But as soon as Dilshan departed, the Sri Lankans fell apart and the visitors were bowled out for 252 runs. New Zealand now hold a 3-1 lead in the ANZ International Series with two matches remaining.
The third ODI at Auckland was abandoned midway due to rain.
Here is a list of some of the important numbers from the match:
170 – Highest individual score by a batsman batting at No. 7 or lower in ODIs, beating MS Dhoni’s 139*.
170 – Fourth highest individual score by a New Zealand player in ODIs.
360 – New Zealand’s highest total in ODIs against a top 8 team.
172 – Ronchi’s strike-rate is the second-highest for a 150+ score in ODIs, only next to Shane Watson’s 185* against Bangladesh in 2011.
35 – Grant Elliott, at 35, became the second-oldest New Zealand batsman to score a century in ODIs; the oldest is Bev Congdon who scored a century against England when he was 37 years old.
267 – New Zealand’s highest partnership for any wicket against a top 8 team and a world record for the sixth wicket.