This was Holly Huddleston's third ODI fifer    Getty Images
This was Holly Huddleston’s third ODI fifer Getty Images

New Zealand comprehensively won the ICC Women s World Cup 2017 opening match against Sri Lanka by 9 wickets at Bristol. Winning the toss, Holly Huddleston s maiden World Cup five-for wrapped Sri Lanka innings for 189 the highest total by the islanders against White Ferns in ODIs. It was followed by a spectacular show with the bat by skipper Suzie Bates and Amy Satterthwaite who stitched unbeaten second wicket stand of 170 runs. Suzie eased to her second World Cup century after her record-breaking 168 off 105 balls in 2009 World Cup to seal berth in the final. For Sri Lanka it was Chamari Pogampola and Chamari Atapattu. Their lone wicket-taker was Chandima Gunaratne. Full Cricket Updates: ICC Women’s World Cup 2017, Match 1, NZ W vs SL W

Suzie was off the mark with a boundary in a bid to clinch the first win of the tournament. Inoka Ranaweera added pressure on the openers by bringing spinner Chandima in the second over. The trick worked and that ended the innings of wicketkeeper Rachel Priest who was trapped for 2. New Zealand who were lingering at 24 for 1 moved to 50-run mark by 14th over. On the other hand, at the same stage, Sri Lanka were struggling at 47 for no loss. Inoka used as many as 8 bowlers to break the partnership between Suzie and Amy, however, the power-hitters found their way out.

Amy even completed 3,000 ODI runs in the process. Suzie, on the other hand, reached her fifty in style with a six over long-on while Amy followed up by bringing fifty with a single. By the second drinks break, the equation was down to 19 off 15 overs. Suzie continued her onslaught and hammered Eshani Lokusuriyagewith a boundary towards long-on. With 2 needed to win, Suzie ended the task taking New Zealand home with 74 balls to spare.

Earlier, New Zealand were out of sorts with their bowling efforts as Lea Tahuhubegan with a wide. Nipuni Hansika, on the other hand, switched on her attacking mode straightaway adding 12 runs with little support from her opening partner Polgampola. The White Ferns were not just poor with their bowling, but also sloppy with their fielding. Polgampola got a life when Katey Martin dropped her on 13. The duo, however, provided a heads-up to Sri Lanka with their 47-run opening stand.

The duo frustrated the New Zealand bowlers so much so that skipper Suzie juggled with the bowlers right from the 6th over. Anna Peterson and Sophie Devine also could not provide the breakthrough that New Zealand were hunting for. However, it was the 16-year-old World Cup debutant Amelia Kerr who broke the stand and brought New Zealand back into the game.

Since, it was the show of Chamari s . Where Polgampola took the call of the boundaries, Sri Lanka s mainstay Atapattu took her time. By 34.2 overs, both the players were on similar scores of 44. However, it was Atapattu who raced to her 12th ODI fifty with a boundary off Sophie.

In the next delivery, Bates caught her comfortably at cover and Sophie bagged her first wicket. The game tilted towards New Zealand then.

The White Ferns star of the day Huddleston ran through the Sri Lankan middle-order. She first got hold of Porgampola, denying her fifty. Successive wickets of Prasadani Weerakkody, Sripali Weerakkody and Shashikala Siriwardene, who played a lone battle until the 47th over, followed it. It was the penultimate over of the innings when Huddleston got the third fifer of her career and her first in World Cup.

Brief scores:

Sri Lanka Women 188 for 9 in 50 overs (Chamari Polgampola 49, Chamari Atapattu 53; Holly Huddleston 5 for 35) lost to New Zealand Women 189 for 1 in 37.4 overs (Suzie Bates 106*, Amy Satterthwaite 78*; Chandima Gunaratne 1 for 20) by 9 wickets with 74 balls to spare

Player of the Match: Holly Huddleston