Saturday, March 19, 2011

World Cup 2011 : Sri Lanka vs New Zealand....

At Mumbai Sri Lanka took on New Zealand to decide on the Group A standings. It was also a test of the two teams capabilities ahead of the knock out stages. Batting first the Lankans lost both their openers Tharanga & Dilshan cheaply, with only 19 runs on board in the 5th over. However Captain Sangakkara & Mahela Jayawardene came together, & stitched a crucial partnership of 145 runs. Mahela was lucky to get the benefit of doubt of a catch taken by Nathan McCullum, in replays, & went on to make 66 runs. Sanga went on to make his century, his first since June 2008, one that took him 64 matches. However, after he was out for 111 in 128 deliveries, in the 42nd over, with score at 210 for 4, the Lankan innings did not flourish & they lost five wickets for just 55 runs. the final score was 265 for 9, & that largely came due to a belligerent 41 unbeaten runs by Angelo Mathews, for just 35 balls, in the end.
For the Kiwis, Southee picked up 3 wickets as Captain Ross Taylor employed eight bowlers in an attempt to stall the Lankan innings. 

In reply, New Zealand needed a solid start at the top, which was not to be & the batting faltered against some disciplined bowling. No one could really dig in & build a long partnership, as spinners Murali & Mendis ripped through the middle, taking 6 wickets between them for just 59 runs in 14 overs. The wetness of the pitch made scoring more difficult & finally Kiwis folded for just 153 in just 35 overs.
The Lankans were victorious by 112 runs & ended their group level matches with 8 points. With the last match of the group between Pakistan & Australia yet to come, the Lankans would probably end as 2nd in the group & most likely meet England in the quarterfinals, who just scraped through yesterday, with a win against the Windies. The Kiwis would probably end as the 4th team from the group & meet the 1st team of group B.

Man of the Match : While Murali picked up 4 wickets for just 25 runs & was virtually unplayable today, it was Captain Sangakkara, who became the man of the match for his excellent century & taking the Lankans to safety.  

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