New Zealand Crush Sri Lanka In World Cup Opener

New Zealand have enjoyed a dream start to the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup following a 98-run thrashing of Sri Lanka in Christchurch on Saturday.  The Sri Lankans won the toss and sent the co-hosts in to bat but the decision backfired.  Brendon McCullum and Martin Guptill (pictured) put on 111 runs for the first wicket before the skipper departed for 65 from 49 balls, including 10 fours and a six.

Guptill would make 49 and number three Kane Williamson struck 57 as the Black Caps put on a series of partnerships to increase the pressure on the 1996 champions.  Corey Anderson hammered 75 from only 46 deliveries, with eight fours and two sixes as the New Zealanders powered to 331/6 in their 50 overs at the Hagley Oval.  Jeevan Mendis bowled just two overs, but his 2/5 was far and away the best effort by the bowling side.

The Sri Lankans started well as Lahiru Thirimane and Tillakaratne Dilshan added 67 for the opening stand before the latter was caught and bowled by Daniel Vettori for 24.  Thirimanne was joined by Kumar Sangakkara and the pair put on 57 in what was turning out to be a credible run chase.  However Trent Boult bowled Thirimanne (65) and trapped Sangakkara LBW for 39 either side of Vetorri’s Mahela Jayawardene’s four-ball duck courtesy of a Luke Ronchi catch off Vetorri, as the island nation slumped from 124/1 to 129/4 in the space of 11 balls.

After that it was all New Zealand as only Angelo Mathews troubled the kiwi bowlers with 46.  No home bowler stood out but every one did their job well as Boult, Vettori, Tim Southee, Adam Milne and Anderson all picked up two sticks each.  Anderson was named man of the match.  The New Zealanders next play Scotland on Tuesday at the University Oval in Dunedin.