Monday, April 5, 2010

New Zealand v Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka's bowlers once again made up for their batsmen's inability to post a large total by slicing through New Zealand at Trent Bridge, securing a 48-run victory to cement their spot in the semi-finals of the World Twenty20. New Zealand challenged the target of 159 briefly but Ajantha Mendis turned the game Sri Lanka's way by dismissing Ross Taylor and Scott Styris within the space of four balls.

New Zealand began their chase brightly with Aaron Redmond biffing 20 runs off Sanath Jayasuriya's first over, the second of the innings. He blasted the ball past mid-on, carved it over cover, blazed another through extra cover before smacking the final over the long-off boundary. The versatility of the bowling, though, meant New Zealand's batsmen had to keep their wits about them and no one was able to stay long enough to cause significant damage.

Isuru Udana struck first, inducing a top-edge from Brendon McCullum to point before Lasith Malinga suckered Redmond into chipping a slower full toss to square leg. New Zealand, however, were decently placed at 64 for 2 after eight overs. Their position deteriorated rapidly in the next over. Mendis first delivered a wide ball from well behind the crease and had Ross Taylor stumped, he then beat Scott Styris' bat with a carrom ball and knocked off stump out of the ground. New Zealand had slipped to 66 for 4 and never recovered. Only Martin Guptill offered resistance, hitting the ball sweetly down the ground, during his innings of 43. The New Zealand challenge ended when he flat-batted Jayasuriya straight to the fielder at deep square leg.

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