New Zealand prevail in a low scoring encounter
by CricketArchive Staff Reporter
DateLine: 22nd May 2010
The New Zealanders had a measure of the Lankan side as they got better of them by a huge margin of 29 runs. The batting from both the sides went bust but it was the bowling that was interesting in today's contest. The slowness of the pitch was one of the factor that put a strait-jacket over the batsmen. New Zealand in their 20 overs managed 120 for the loss of 7 wickets. Sri Lanka in reply managed 91 in 19.4 overs.
On a wicket that looked dry and with a strong gust of wind blowing across the ground Vettori elected to bat first. Brendon McCullum (18, 13b, 1x6, 2x4) provided the initial boost at the top of the innings with his brand of stroke-play but that was short-lived. With the pitch showing visible signs of slowing down at every passing moment batting became an arduous job for the Kiwi batsmen. It was evident that the Lankan spinners would relish bowling on this surface and that was proved to be true.
The pitch was not conducive for the slam-bang cricket that is associated with T20 cricket. The odd ball kept low and the slower one bowled the more difficult it became for a batsman to do anything damaging. Ross Taylor (27, 30b, 3x4) tried to change the script for the Kiwi innings and for some duration of time that succeeded. The other batsmen to put up some fight for the Kiwis was skipper Daniel Vettori (21 not out, 16b, 1x4) as helped New Zealand post 120 for the loss of seven wickets in 20 overs. For the Lankans Mendis bowled beautifully as he picked up 2 wickets in his four overs.
Sri Lanka in reply got off the wrong foot as Mills managed to extract Jayawardene (0, 2b) out with a beautiful out-swinger. Andy McKay bowled with pace and vigour but lacked the class of the recently retired Bond to trouble the Lankan batsmen in the opening overs. Dilshan (6, 7b, 1x4) was undone by the slow nature of the pitch as he chopped a slow off-cutter from Mills back onto his stumps. Mathews, pushed up the order, showed why he is one of the most exciting talent around with some sharp cricketing brain. The young all-rounder was never bogged down as he kept the scoreboard ticking. Interspersed with the running between the wickets he found the boundary ropes once and also deposited the ball ball into the stand once to keep the Kiwis on the toes.
Sangakkara (17, 25b, 1x4) travails with the bat continued as he was caught in the deep of a long hop from Vettori. Coupled with some excellent bowling, the slow nature of the wicket and some excellent ground fielding that featured some good catching the task was getting taller for the Lankan side. Styris then dealt a double whammy for the Lankans as he removed Mathews (27, 31b, 1x6, 1x4) and Kapugedera (7, 11b) off consecutive balls and that was the last nail on the Lankan coffin. The lower order folded up meekly as the Lankans were shot out for 92 in 19.4 overs.