Sri Lanka need Mahela Jayawardene's experience to amass a good score on the board against New Zealand © AFP (File Photo)
Mahela Jayawardene © AFP (File Photo)


Mar 31, 2014


In the ICC World T20 2014 Group 1 game played between New Zealand and Sri Lanka at Chittagong, New Zealand continued to make dent into the opposition ranks by dismissing Lahiru Thirimanne for a well-measured innings of 20 off 18 balls. It left Sri Lanka in a spot of bother during the middle overs of the game. All New Zealand bowlers including, James Neesham got the ball to swing it late. Now that is some achievement, as the conditions weren’t easy to bowl.  Sri Lanka need Mahela Jayawardene and the cool, calm and collected, Angelo Mathews to up the ante. Unfortunately, Mathews too lost his wicket by edging Mitchell McClenaghan for just six runs.


Earlier, It was Trent Boult  who picked up three key wickets. The left-armer, Mitchell McClenaghan and Corey Anderson also swung the ball a bit in the air and did hit the deck hard. It needed Mahela Jayawardene’s mastery to handle some fine swing bowling between the fifth and the 10th over of the game.


Thirimanne himself played well in an attempt to help Sri Lanka make a smart recovery by guiding Boult for a boundary. New Zealand was led well by Brendon McCullum, who kept a slip all the time and bowled out his chief wicket-taker Boult. The slow nature of the track may mean that the par score will be around 140.


Actually, Sri Lanka started their innings with the dangerous Kusal Perera and Tillakaratne Dilshan opening the batting. It was Perera who opened up his shoulders first by neatly playing a flick shot with needlepoint precision to bisect the gap, as the ball raced to the boundary boards. He followed it up with a Jayasuriyaesque six over the mid-wicket region. On expected lines, Kyle Mills swung the ball a wee bit in the air away from the left-hander and into the right-hander in his first over, but wasn’t effective enough in difficult conditions.


The wet ball didn’t help the left-arm swing bowler, Boult either during the first over he bowled. He bowled a beamer in his first over too. New Zealand though, got a bit lucky with Perera being strangled down the leg-side of the bowling off Boult. On the other end of the spectrum, Dilshan continued on his merry way with a Dilscoop off Mills, before he lost his wicket to Boult, while trying to play the scoop shot. Once Boult settled into his rhythm he got it to swing it late.


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