Mumbai: New Zealand carried on their fine run in the Twenty20 format without the fearless and dynamic leader Brendon McCullum to seal a comfortable 74-run win against Sri Lanka, here in the warm-up match on Thursday.
Electing to bat, New Zealand had a field day with the willow toying with the Lankan bowlers. Colin Munro and Corey Anderson dealt only in sixes as their 92-run partnership enabled New Zealand pose a colossal 226-4.
Munro’s 34-ball 67 runs saw the left-hander register seven maximums minus any boundaries while Anderson’s fierce 29-run ball 60 was laced with four boundaries and an equal number of sixes. Both the Kiwi left-handers decimated a Lasith Malinga-less bowling attack.
The Sri Lankan reply lacked any sort of resilience. Tim Southee struck first blood in the second over sending Tillakaratne Dilshan back to the pavilion for a sweet duck. Dilshan continued his poor run of form.
Chamara Kapugedra and Lahiru Thirumanne were grit in their performance, both scoring 41 and 38 runs respectively. The Islanders were in no sight of a win with the run-rate creeping to excruciating painful levels.
New Zealand were on target with their bowling, Adam Mine standing out with 3-26 after his four overs. Southee ended up with just the lone wicket of Dilshan, going for 25 runs in his four overs. Leggie Ish Sodhi picked two while Corey Anderson added a wicket to his name.
Earlier, batting on a hard Wankhede strip that saw not many demons, the Kiwis were off to a flier, courtesy the in-form Martin Guptill. However, at the other end it was not a good outing for his skipper Kane Williamson, who departed for just 10 runs from the 9 balls he faced. The Blackcaps skipper was looking to shift gears but was caught at cover by Chamara Kapugedra giving Suranga Lakmal his first wicket.
Guptill at the other end continued to fire ensuring the run-rate doesn’t dip. New Zealand were going good at 57-1 after the first power play.
Dasun Chanaka, who was instrumental in Sri Lanka’s win against India in Pune, was the next to strike for the Islanders sending the dangerous Guptill (41) caught at cover by Sachithra Senanayake.
What followed then was a 92-run partnership that left Angelo Mathews (who didn’t bowl) and the Lankan bowlers clueless. Munro, with his batting stance almost similar to holding a baseball blade, smashed it all across the arena. The highlight of the 28-year-old’s innings was during the 10th over when he clobbered four huge sixes in consecutive deliveries from the Chanaka over that brought the few fans present to their feet. One of the maximums was a reverse sweep to deep cover that sent the white cherry missing for a while. After the first half, New Zealand were 106 for 2.
Munro’s blitzkrieg effort came to an end after Chanaka struck for the second time in the 15th over. The Munro-Anderson partnership saw the Kiwis surge from 67 for 2 in the eighth over to 159 for 3.
Anderson carried on the carnage bringing up his half-century from just 27 deliveries and was retired after good match time in the middle. Mitchell Santner, who was the next to come in saw the ‘The next Vettori’ fall short of his crease after a major mix-up with Grant Elliott at the other end. Santner added just a run to the Kiwi target during his three-minute stay at the crease.
Elliott too chipped in with a handy 21-ball 36 balls. Chanaka was the pick of the Lankan bowlers with 2-48 runs while Lakmal with one wicket, was expensive going for 50. Tillakaratne Dilshan was the most economical bowler giving away just the 28 runs from his three overs.
New Zealand will play England in the second warm-up match on March 12 at the same venue....