Easy-peasy! A very comfortable win for the Kiwis. They have overhauled the minuscule target without even breaking a sweat. Martin Guptill and Colin Munro approached the chase smoothly and apart from a few streaky shots, they always looked under control. Both the New Zealand openers scored fifties and handed Sri Lanka their first 10-wicket loss in a World Cup match.
This match was beautifully set up by the Kiwi bowlers. They utilized the early conditions to peg Sri Lanka back and the Asian team never really recovered after the early blows. Barring Dimuth Karunaratne, who carried his bat, there wasn't much fight shown by the Lankan batsman. Matt Henry was exceptional with the new ball while the rest also assisted him superbly.
Lockie Ferguson also completed a 3-wicket haul in the end. Altogether, a clinical and commanding performance from the Black Caps to announce their arrival in ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, just like West Indies did.
Man of the Match, Matt Henry says that it was a good day for him. Adds that the surface was green and you don't get many decks like these. Mentions this is a tournament, you can't try a lot like you can in the warm-up games. States they were trying to hit the right lines and lengths and force the batsman on the front foot. Reckons it is a massive difference when the fielders do well. Further adds he enjoyed his time at Kent and they enjoyed a lot of success in the white-ball format. Ends by saying it is always a good time to play cricket here.
New Zealand skipper, Kane Williamson says it's a great start for them. Mentions that winning the toss and picking early wickets was important on that wicket. States there is no problem in playing on pitches like these as you can expect movement with the two new balls. Further adds seeing off the new ball is important on such wickets and if they do so, it becomes good to bat on. Reckons they have a balanced attack and they need such attacks in England as games here could be high scoring. Tells they did not have a lot of conversations with the openers regarding getting the target quickly and boosting the NRR as both are aggressive batters and it was nice they went out and played good knocks. Credits the way Munro played and feels it was a much-needed knock for him. Ends by saying they are looking forward to the next game.
Sri Lanka skipper, Dimuth Karunaratne says that they lost the game with the bat as 136 is not a good score. Mentions that he and Kusal Perera batted well but they lost a lot of wickets after that when they needed partnerships. Reckons it was seaming in the morning and the Kiwis had the advantage of that and their bowlers did well. States there should be better batting wickets as the crowd is coming to watch good matches. Further adds they batted well in the practice games but they need to be more consistent and pace their innings a lot better. Feels after getting in and once set, scoring would become easy.
The game started off brilliantly for the Kiwis as Matt Henry got rid of Thirimanne on the second ball itself. Kusal Perera and Dimuth Karunaratne did get the innings back on track but the wicket of the former started the procession.
Sri Lanka at one time were reeling at 60 for 6 and even 100 looked a doubt. However, a 50-plus run partnership between Perera and Karunaratne, who really played well for a half ton and was the only batsman who showed character, took the Lankans to 136!
The New Zealand bowlers were brilliant right from the start. They made excellent use of the conditions, especially Matt Henry who ran through the top order. He ended with a three-fer. Lockie Ferguson also had three to his name.
Kane Williamson starts by saying it is a fresh surface and it has a tinge of green on it so he hopes they can make good use of it. Informs Tim Sotuhee, Tom Blundell, Henry Nicolls and Ish Sodhi miss out. States they are playing only one spinner and he hopes their pacers can make use of the surface. Ends by saying they played two good warm-up games, both were different challenges and they are up for this match.
Dimuth Karunaratne says they too were going to bowl first as they are playing four seamers and they wanted to take the advantage of the green surface. Informs the 4 sitting out are Jeffrey Vandersay, Milinda Siriwardana, Nuwan Pradeep and Avishka Fernando. Mentions they have played a practice game here and it does not move a lot after the first few overs but if you hit the deck hard, it does seam. Ends by saying they do not have a lot of pressure, they want to enjoy and do well and show the world what the Lankans are capable of.
PITCH REPORT - Nasser Hussain says there is a good even covering of grass, it looks a fresh pitch and it would go through. Mentions they have kept grass on the wicket so that the ball skids through, if they shave it off, it tends to slow up. States the first two games of this World Cup has been about pace but this game will be more about pitching it up and swinging it.
Sri Lanka (Playing XI): Dimuth Karunaratne(c), Lahiru Thirimanne, Kusal Perera(w), Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Dhananjaya de Silva, Thisara Perera, Jeevan Mendis, Suranga Lakmal, Isuru Udana, Lasith Malinga
New Zealand (Playing XI): Martin Guptill, Colin Munro, Kane Williamson(c), Tom Latham(w), Ross Taylor, James Neesham, Colin de Grandhomme, Mitchell Santner, Lockie Ferguson, Matt Henry, Trent Boult