A big win for the Kiwis this time! They weren't clinical in the previous two games but today everything clicked. Powered by Taylor and Nicholls' centuries, they posted a massive total on the board and then their bowlers put their best foot forward. However, at the beginning, the Lankan openers managed to scare them. In fact, they were going on smoothly initially and did well to keep the required rate under control.
Kane Williamson says that he is happy to see improvement in every game. Reckons that they were put under pressure in all the games and they did well top come on top. Credits Taylor and Nicholls for their knock today. Adds saying that this is a great team and hopes to continue winning games. On the World Cup he feels that there is still time for it and wants to keep improving on their cricket. Ends saying that they are happy to win 3-0.
Lasith Malinga says the top 4 are getting runs, but he is disappointed that in the last 15 overs they are not bowling well and going for plenty of runs. Also says before the world cup, they need to get team formation right. Mentions Dickwella and Kusal Perera are playing well and would like them to continue their good form. Ends by saying he is enjoying the captaincy and would like the results going in his way in the upcoming matches.
Man of the Match, Ross Taylor, feels that they were nervous at the start and wanted to get things back together. Mentions that all the three games were good and the guys raised their hands and played well. On his batting he mentions that he keeps things simple. On the team batting he says that they grind up first and then catch up well to put the icing on the cake later.
For New Zealand, Lockie Ferguson was the most impressive bowler on show. He was quick and also used smart variations to deceive the batsmen. The other pacers though were not too convincing. Ish Sodhi with a 3-fer also left his impact as he along with skipper Kane Williamson bowled some tidy overs to create pressure.
Once Sri Lanka's top three departed, the middle order failed to cope up with the pressure. The century partnership between Thisara Perera and Danushka Gunathilaka reignited some hope in the Lankan camp but once the former fell to a stunning catch by Martin Guptill, the writing was on the wall. The last five wickets went down for just 5 runs as New Zealand registered a convincing win to make it 3-0.
What an incredible batting performance! 161/3 was the score at the 30-over mark and they scored 203 runs in the next 20 overs. A complete batting performance by the Kiwis even though the openers went quite cheaply. 32 fours and 9 sixes in this innings. Tells you quite a story
A bowler of Lasith Malinga's calibre being destroyed at the back end. The innings started off in a slow fashion, with the first Powerplay seeing the Kiwis get to 55 for the loss of two wickets. Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor then joined hands to put up a stand of 116 and set the platform up for the bashers who would come in later. Williamson looked really well set before getting out after his fifty.
In came Henry Nicholls and along with Ross Taylor kept the scoreboard ticking early on with singles and doubles. Once they got set, they went bonkers. Ross Taylor started it off and got to his 20th ODI century. He reached 137 before finally falling to Malinga but that did not stop Nicholls. In fact, he went into fifth gear and smashed the balls to all parts en route to his maiden ODI ton. He and Neesham put up a 63-run unbeaten stand (off 23 balls) and powered New Zealand to a total of 364 which looks way above par on this wicket. Facing the likes of Ish Sodhi would not be easy on this wicket which is holding up slightly.
So once more, Sri Lanka have faltered with the old ball. They conceded 57 runs off the last 3 overs. The target set is really huge and Sri Lanka will have to go at an RPO of more than 7 right from the start. Not going to be easy but with the series already gone, they have nothing to lose and should go for the win.
Sri Lanka (Playing XI): Niroshan Dickwella(w), Danushka Gunathilaka, Kusal Perera, Kusal Mendis, Dhananjaya de Silva, Dasun Shanaka, Thisara Perera, Lasith Malinga(c), Lakshan Sandakan, Nuwan Pradeep, Dushmantha Chameera
New Zealand (Playing XI): Martin Guptill, Colin Munro, Kane Williamson(c), Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, James Neesham, Tim Seifert(w), Tim Southee, Matt Henry, Ish Sodhi, Lockie Ferguson