By CricketCountry Staff
Pallekele: Sep 27, 2012
Riding on a whirlwind half-century by Rob Nicol, New Zealand reach 174 for seven in their allotted 20 overs against Sri Lanka in the first Super Eight match of the ICC T20 World Cup 2012 at Pallekele on Thursday.
Nicol struck 58 off 40 balls and his knock was laced with three fours and four sixes.
Nicol took his time before launching an assault on the host bowlers to lay a solid platform for the Kiwis at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium.
Opting to bat, Nicol along with fellow opener Martin Guptill got off to a cautious start before the latter started to fire, picking up boundaries on a regular basis.
It was debutant Akila Dananjaya who dismissed Guptill for a well-made 30-ball 38 off his first over. Guptill's knock was studded with six hits to the fence.
After Guptill's departure, Nicol and Brendon McCullum were watchful, but kept the scoreboard moving by hitting the occasional fours and sixes off the loose deliveries.
Luck was on Nicol's side as he was dropped by Dananjaya when on 31.
Ajantha Mendis, however, cut short McCullum's quickfire innings of 25 in the 13th over with New Zealand yet to reach the 100-run mark.
But in the very next over off Mendis, Nicol smashed three sixes to change the complexion of the game totally, adding 24 more runs to the Black Caps' total.
Just when things started to look dangerous for the hosts, Dananjaya took his second wicket of the match, sending back Nicol.
Captain Ross Taylor (23) thereafter chipped in with some crucial runs that lifted the New Zealanders to a healthy total.
Brief Scores: New Zealand 174 for 7 in 20 overs (Rob Nicol 58, Martin Guptill 38; Nuwan Kulasekara 2 for 3, Akila Dananjaya Perera 2 for 30) vs Sri Lanka