Hosts New Zealand kick started the World Cup with a bang as they begin their 2015 World Cup campaign in style as they defeated Sri Lanka by a huge margin of 98 runs in their Group A clash at the Hagley Oval, Christchurch. It was a collective team effort from the Kiwis as they outplayed Sri Lanka in each and every department earning a clinical win.
Skipper Brendon McCullum set the World Cup on fire as he got his side off to a flier with some sensational hitting and was well backed his deputy Kane Williamson and hard hitting Corey Anderson which set the opposition a target of 332 in fifty overs. Then it was all about the bowlers led by veteran Daniel Vettori sealed the victory for the blackcaps.
Chasing 332 runs for victory, Sri Lanka started steadily and batted out the field restriction overs by scoring at a brisk rate before Vettori came in and drew the first blood. He beat Tillakratne Dilshan in the air and took a return catch to dismiss the opener for 24 runs before Kumar Sangakkara joined Lahiru Thirimanne at the crease. The duo put on 57 in quick time before Trent Boult returned and cleaned up Thirimanne for 65 and Mahela Jayawardene followed him to the pavilion for a duck as he nicked Vettori straight into the hands of Luke Ronchi behind the stumps in the next over. Sri Lanka’s chances of winning were dashed when Boult removed Sangakkara for 39. Then it was just a matter of time for the blackcaps to clean up the visitors and Adam Milne, Tim Southee and Corey Anderson cleaned up the tail. Thirimanne was the pick of the Lankan batsmen with a fighting 65 while all the frontline Kiwi bowlers took two wickets apiece.
Earlier McCullum started the show with some delightful shots in his 49 ball 65 before falling to Rangana Herath caught at long-off. Guptill fell short of a half-century as Williamson continued his good form by scoring yet another fifty before Corey Anderson accelerated towards the end. Anderson’s 46 ball 75 ended the Kiwis’ innings for 331-6 in their fifty overs. Suranga Lakmal picked up 2-62 his 10 overs.
Brief Scores: New Zealand 331-6 in 50 overs (Corey Anderson 75, Brendon McCullum 65, Kane Williamson 57, Jeevan Mendis 2-5, Suranga Lakmal 2-62) beat Sri Lanka 233 in 46.1 overs (Lahiru Thirimanne 65, Angelo Mathews 46, Daniel Vettori 2-34, Tim Southee 2-43) by 98 runs.
Man of the Match: Corey Anderson