In Match 4 of the ICC Cricket World Cup, New Zealand was up against Sri Lanka to kickstart their campaign at Sophia Gardens in Cardiff. On a typical English morning, Kiwi skipper Kane Williamson won the toss and decided to bowl first on a pitch with a tinge of green which was bound to aid fast bowlers in their first burst.
Things went according to plan for the Blackcaps as the Islanders were found wanting against moving ball. Matt Henry did the early damage by picking up three early wickets in the first hour of play. The Lankans were pushed onto the backfoot with the scoreboard reading 46/3 inside nine overs.
Blackcaps were all over their opposition as the SL batters failed to show any application against swing and seam. Skipper Dimuth Karunaratne held one end tight but even his innings of 52* wasn’t enough on the day to take his team to a fighting total. Thisara Perera did strike a few blows towards the end to take his team’s score past the 100-run mark but in the end, crumbled to 136 in just 29.2 overs. For Blackcaps, Henry and Lockie Ferguson were the standouts, both picking up 3-fers in the match.
Chasing 137 to win, the Kiwi opening pair of Colin Munro and Martin Guptill, were sublime from ball one. The duo added an unbeaten 137-stand to register a thumping victory by 10 wickets. Guptill stayed unbeaten on 73 while Munro also carried his bat on 58. Despite the fact that the bowling had very less to play with, the bowlers looked nothing near menacing in 16.1 overs bowled in the second innings.
For his superb spell of 3 for 29 to dent the Sri Lankans upfront with major blows, Matt Henry was awarded the Man of the Match. Sri Lanka will have a lot to ponder upon, especially their ability to survive the new ball and play according to the situation.
SL will now play Afghanistan at the same venue on June 4, while the Kiwis will travel to London to take on Bangladesh on June 5.
Here’s how the Twitterati reacted to New Zealand’s thumping win against Sri Lanka: