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The Hindu
The Hindu
Ashwin Achal

NZ vs SL | Kiwis ‘almost’ seal a semifinal spot after Sri Lankans fail to put up a challenge

New Zealand moved into prime position to grab the last World Cup semifinal spot with a comfortable five-wicket win over Sri Lanka at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on November 9.

The Kiwis (10 points) moved to sole fourth on the table, two points ahead of Pakistan and Afghanistan. New Zealand — backed by a superior net run rate — is sitting pretty in this three-team sprint. The victory was made possible primarily by a sub-standard batting show by Sri Lanka — bundled out for 171. New Zealand finished the chase in only 23.2 overs.

Devon Conway (45, 42b, 9x4) and Rachin Ravindra (42, 34b, 3x4, 3x6) put the Kiwis on the right track with an 86-run opening partnership. Ravindra overtook Quinton de Kock (550 runs from eight innings) to become the tournament’s highest run-scorer with 565 runs from nine innings.

Daryl Mitchell kept the momentum high with a breezy 31-ball 43. Sri Lanka, thoroughly outplayed, ended its campaign with a whimper. It was only rain that could have scuttled New Zealand’s hopes of sealing a knockout berth. The weather stayed kind, however, to ensure a full game.

Earlier, the Lankan batters displayed poor application to let the team down. Opener Pathum Nissanka and Sadeera Samarawickrama pushed hard at deliveries outside off to offer catches behind the stumps. Captain Kusal Mendis was dismissed in embarrassing fashion — skying a wild pick-up shot to third-man.

The top-order collapse left Sri Lanka at 32 for three in 4.4 overs. Kusal Perera took no half measures, going hard at loose balls to record a 28-ball 51. Charith Asalanka was the fourth to go, trapped on the pads by a Trent Boult inswinger.

Angelo Mathews (16) and Dhananjaya de Silva (19) lunged forward to left-arm spinner Mitchell Santner. Sharp turn got the better of the batters, keeping Mitchell at slip interested.

The end was nigh when Sri Lanka was stranded at 113 for eight on 23.3 overs. Tailenders Maheesh Theekshana (38 n.o., 91b), Dushmantha Chameera (1, 20b) and Dilshan Madushanka (19, 48b) battled hard to stall New Zealand’s march. The trio did a commendable job to hang around for 23.2 overs. Theekshana and Madushanka — reliant more on grit than skill — recorded their best ODI scores.

The late repair job, however, could not prevent a seventh Sri Lankan loss.


Sri Lanka innings: Pathum Nissanka c Latham b Southee 2 Kusal Perera c Santner b Ferguson 51 Kusal Mendis c Ravindra b Boult 6 Sadeera Samarawickrama c Mitchell b Boult 1 Charith Asalanka lbw b Boult 8 Angelo Mathews c Mitchell b Santner 16 Dhananjaya de Silva c Mitchell b Santner 19 Chamika Karunaratne c Latham b Ferguson 6 Maheesh Theekshana not out 38 Dushmantha Chameera c Boult b Ravindra 1 Dilshan Madushanka c Latham b Ravindra 19 Extras: 4 (w-3, lb-1)

Total: 171 all-out in 46.4 overs

Fall of wickets: 1-3, 2-30, 3-32, 4-70, 5-70, 6-104, 7-105, 8-113, 9-128, 10-171.

New Zealand bowling: Trent Boult 10-3-37-3, Tim Southee 8-0-52-1, Lockie Ferguson 10-2-35-2, Mitchell Santner 10-2-22-2, Rachin Ravindra 7.4-0-21-2, Glenn Phillips 1-0-3-0.

New Zealand innings: Devon Conway c de Silva b Chameera 45 Rachin Ravindra c de Silva b Theekshana 42 Kane Williamson b Mathews 14 Daryl Mitchell c Asalanka b Mathews 43 Mark Chapman run out (Samarawickrama/Mathews) 7 Glenn Phillips not out 17 Tom Latham not out 2 Extras: 2 (w-2)

Total: 172 for 5 in 23.2 overs

Fall of wickets: 1-86, 2-88, 3-130, 4-145, 5-162

Sri Lanka bowling: Dilshan Madushanka 6.2-0-58-0, Maheesh Theekshana 7-0-43-1, Dhananjaya de Silva 2-0-22-0, Dushmantha Chameera 4-1-20-1, Angelo Mathews 4-0-29-2.

Playing XIs:

New Zealand: Devon Conway, Rachin Ravindra, Kane Williamson, Daryl Mitchell, Tom Latham, Glenn Phillips, Mark Chapman, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Lockie Ferguson, Trent Boult.

Sri Lanka: Kusal Perera, Pathum Nissanka, Kusal Mendis, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Charith Asalanka, Angelo Mathews, Dhananjaya de Silva, Chamika Karunaratne, Maheesh Theekshana, Dushmantha Chameera, Dilshan Madushanka.

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