Henry, Ferguson propel New Zealand to easy victory over Sri Lanka
CARDIFF (Reuters) – New Zealand crushed Sri Lanka without losing a single wicket in Cardiff on Saturday to begin their World Cup campaign in style, after seamers Matt Henry and Lockie Ferguson had skittled their opponents out for 136.
Kiwi opener Martin Guptill smashed an unbeaten 51-ball 73, while his partner Colin Munro made 58 not out to help New Zealand reach their target in less than 17 overs.
Earlier, Kiwis skipper Kane Williamson won the toss and chose to bowl on a pitch so green it was indistinguishable from the outfield, and he was rewarded when Henry trapped Lankan opener Lahiru Thirimanne leg-before in the first over.
Canterbury seamer Henry, who conceded 107 runs in a warm-up match against West Indies earlier this week, continued his resurgence to remove Kusal Perera and Kusal Mendis in the ninth over to leave the Sri Lankan middle order exposed at 46-3.
Fast bowler Ferguson bagged three middle-order wickets as Sri Lanka finished with the lowest ODI total at Sophia Gardens – below their own record there of 138, also set against the Kiwis, in the 2013 Champions Trophy.
Sri Lankan captain Dimuth Karunaratne led a mini-recovery for his side, carrying his bat through the innings with an unbeaten 52 to take the total past 100.
But apart from all-rounder Thisara Perera (27), he received no support from the lower order as they were skittled out with 20.4 overs to spare.