World Cup 2019: Guptill, Munro and Kiwi pacers star in drubbing of Sri Lanka
June 1, 2019
Cardiff | New Zealand won by 10 wickets
Pace has intimidated the batsmen in all the 3 matches of the World Cup. South Africa folded, Pakistan crumbled, and the Sri Lankans were rolled over for just 136 by the accurate barrage of purposeful deliveries. Perhaps a Twenty20 hangover lingers over the teams, which needs to be quickly dealt with.
Sri Lanka was expected to struggle against New Zealand after being blanked by them 3-0 at home earlier in 2019, but a better fight would have held them in good stead. It was only their captain and opener Dimuth Karunaratne who showed up for the game, carrying his bat to become the 2nd player in World Cup history to do so in a completed World Cup innings after Ridley Jacobs (49*) when West Indies collapsed to 110 in 1999 versus Australia.
On a Kiwi-green pitch at Sophia Gardens, New Zealand had the bowlers with the skill to make the ball talk, and Sri Lankans didn't have the answers to the questions posed, reducing to a sorry 60/6 in the 16th over. A heavy defeat such as this one damages the net run rate almost irreparably, especially for countries who are trying to sneak into the semi-finals. Sri Lanka will need a few comprehensive wins to wipe out the deficit from this Cardiff fiasco.
New Zealand's openers Martin Guptill and Colin Munro breezed past the 136 at the rate of knots each warming up for further challenges with fifties. There was not much to learn about the New Zealanders from this game, except for what is already well known. They are a good, clinical, all-round team who are in the mix for a top-4 slot and it can be safely said that this was a confidence-building win for the 2015 finalists.
Toss: New Zealand elected to field
Sri Lanka 136 all out (29.2 overs)
Dimuth Karunaratne 52*(84), Kusal Perera 29 (24)
Lockie Ferguson 3/22, Matt Henry 3/29
New Zealand 137/0 (16.1 overs)
Martin Guptill 73* (51), Colin Munro 58*(47)
Suranga Lakmal 0/24
New Zealand won by 10 wickets | Player of the Match: Matt Henry