World Cup 2019: New Zealand thumps Sri Lanka in a one-sided affair
New Zealand got their World Cup 2019 campaign off to a tremendous start as they registered a massive 10-wicket victory over Sri Lanka in both the teams' opening encounter of the tournament.
The win seemed to put to bed the loopholes from the warm-up matches and in a way ensured that the Kane Williamson-led side shapes up well for the rest of the tournament. While the win against Sri Lanka will indeed infuse confidence in the Black Caps, the fact that the island nation has a pale outlook when compared to previous editions will be an issue the latter will need to address immediately.
Under the Cardiff sun, the green deck provided enough swing for the seamers, and the New Zealand team, boasting of quality seamers were the first ones to have a crack at the seaming conditions.
Matt Henry made an immediate impact as he opened with the new ball and struck with the second ball of the innings to put the opposition under pressure early on. With Dimuth Karunaratne and Kusal Perera settling in, Henry returned in the ninth over to remove both the batsmen in succession as the rest of the bowlers made the most of Henry's domination up front.
Lockie Ferguson's pace and Colin de Grandhomme's troubling lines made adjusting difficult for the batsmen as soon Sri Lanka were staring down the barrel at 60-6 and were soon skittled out for just 136 from 29.2 overs.
Post a dismal batting display, when Sri Lanka came onto bowl, they failed to capitalise on the precious few opportunities that they were granted. Moreover, New Zealand's opening pair of Martin Guptill and Colin Munro came out with an ultra-positive approach that saw the Black Caps chase down the target in just 16.1 overs without the loss of a single wicket.
Martin Guptill's 51-ball unbeaten 73 and Colin Munro's 47-ball 58 put the Sri Lankan bowlers under the pump all throughout as skipper Karunaratne was left scratching his head for a way to create a breakthrough, which went in vain.
Throughout the match, it looked as if Sri Lanka lacked confidence, and even though they were they were defending a low target, the fielders did not help the bowlers. On the other hand, the Black Caps were raring to go right from ball one and was no surprise that they were a force to reckon with all throughout the game.
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