So that's it from the first ODI at Bay Oval, Mount Maunganui. The hosts did really well with the bat as expected but what was nice to see was the response of Sri Lanka with the bat. If this game is anything to go by, we should be in for a good series. The second match will be on the 5th of January at the same ground. It will begin at 1400 local (0100 GMT). See you and till then, take care. You can now switch tabs to catch the action from the Cape Town Test where Pakistan are in all sorts of trouble after being put to bat. Cheers!
Victorious New Zealand skipper, Kane Williamson says that it was a good surface and the outfield was very quick. Also adds that the wind was also a factor. Mentions that both sides played really competitive cricket and admits that it was tough for the bowlers. Feels that they need to get a bit smarter with the ball and hit the right areas and pick wickets to build scoreboard pressure. Further mentions that the effort was there and a lot of credit goes to Sri Lanka for the way they batted. On Guptill returning, Williamson says that he is a world class player and his knock helped them set the platform. Praises the likes of Neesham, Taylor and Nicholls who pushed the total further which was crucial. On Neesham's all-round show, Kane terms it as the match-changing performance.
Sri Lanka skipper, Lasith Malinga says that they didn't bowl too many wicket-taking deliveries and they have to analyze that and come back hard. Adds that they will be playing on the same surface again in the second ODI and they have to work on their variations. Feels that all the players realize that they are not bowling well. He is happy with the batting as they got good partnerships going and hopes to do even better in the next game.
Man of the Match, Martin Guptill says that he is really happy with the outing he had with the bat. Informs that he played in the T20 Leagues in West Indies and England and has worked hard to get back in the team. States that it's been quite frustrating past few months for him, struggling with injuries but everything has settled down and his body is feeling pretty good. Adds that he lost his rhythm a couple of times today but overall it was a good outing for him and his team.
Earlier in the afternoon, New Zealand got to 372 on the back of a century from the comeback man, Guptill and quickfire knocks from Ross Taylor and James Neesham. The latter was devastating with his cameo of 47 off just 13 balls. He would later come onto bowl and pick up 3/38 as well. Thus, all in all it was a more complete performance from NZ that saw them trump the Island nation here today. Presentation to follow.
The Lankan chase began superbly with a 100-plus run partnership for the opening wicket. Both the left-handed openers did really well but both fell in quick succession. Kusal Perera who came in at number 3 played a magnificent knock and got to his century but it was in a losing cause as wickets were falling around him and he didn't have much help from others. Once he departed, the game was all but over. In the end, the runs conceded in the final few overs of the first innings came to haunt the Lankans. Maybe 30 runs less and the story could have been completely different.
A high-scoring game here! But in the end, you can say the difference between the two teams was the James Neesham burst at the end of the first innings. 372 was always going to be a little too much for the visitors to chase and even though they had good partnerships and top 3 batsmen playing well, one would have always backed the Kiwis because a couple of wickets was all that was needed to sky-rocket the required rate. And that's exactly what happened.
M Henry to L Malinga, OUT! Bowled 'em! It's all over here. NEW ZEALAND WIN BY 45 RUNS AND GO UP 1-0 IN THE THREE-MATCH SERIES. A perfect yorker, somewhat like giving Malinga a taste of his own medicine. The Lankan skipper can't keep it out and the ball knocks the stumps. The NZ players are elated and Malinga and Pradeep wait patiently to shake hands. Been a great performance by both teams but the Kiwis were better in the end.
M Henry to L Malinga, Yorker length ball on middle, kept out by the batsman.
M Henry to L Malinga, SIX! Another biggie, this time from the bat of Malinga. Short of a length ball on middle and Lasith pulls it hard over mid-wicket for a maximum. A lady in the crowd seems to have been hit by the ball, hope she's okay.
M Henry to L Malinga, Dropped! Fuller outside off, Lasith Malinga lifts it towards mid off and Nicholls out there cannot take this one moving to his right. Drops it and the batsmen come back for two by the time the ball is returned.
M Henry to L Malinga, Short length ball on middle. Pulled away to deep mid-wicket for a couple by Malinga on this occasion.
M Henry to L Malinga, Length ball on middle and leg following the batsman, defended off the back foot with a straight bat.
END OF OVER: 48 | 6 Runs 1 Wkt | SL: 316/9
T Boult to N Pradeep, SIX! What a well timed shot by the no. 11 batsman. Uses the pace of Boult and lifts it over the bowler's head and all the way for six. Brought a smile to his face. Boult ends with 2/65 off 10 overs.
T Boult to N Pradeep, Length ball outside off, driven towards mid off by the batsman.
T Boult to N Pradeep, Fuller outside off, dug out towards cover by Pradeep.
Nuwan Pradeep is the last batsman.
T Boult to L Sandakan, OUT! Cleaned up the no. 10 batsman. Pacy and on target, you miss I hit stuff. Too good for Sandakan who tries to hit it through the covers. Knocks the off stump as he misses. Boult gets his second wicket and mere formalities left now.
T Boult to L Sandakan, Fuller length once more, Lakshan gets an inside edge as he tries to hit it on the off side. That runs to the keeper missing the leg stump by inches.
T Boult to L Sandakan, A play and a miss this time! Angling in from around the wicket, Sandakan goes for the swing but misses.
END OF OVER: 47 | 7 Runs 0 Wkt | SL: 310/8
L Ferguson to L Sandakan, Fuller length ball on middle and Lakshan drives it down to long on for a single, keeping strike.
L Ferguson to L Sandakan, On middle, dropping on a length, Sandakan defends this off the back foot with a straight bat.
L Ferguson to L Malinga, Full toss on middle, Malinga backs away and tries to slash. Gets a thick outside edge to third man for a single.