Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
New Zealand pace bowler Matt Henry carved through Sri Lanka’s top order with a three-wicket haul to help his side start their World Cup campaign with a 10-wicket win.
Opting to bowl first in Cardiff, New Zealand got their first breakthrough on the second ball of the match as Sri Lanka opener Lahiru Thirimanne was given out lbw off the bowling of Henry for four runs.
Kusal Perera and captain Dimuth Karunaratne made up for the loss of Thirimanne with a 42-run partnership before Kusal was caught by Colin de Grandhomme at mid-off off the bowling of Henry for 29.
Henry struck again the very next ball as Kusal Mendis was caught by Martin Guptill in the slip cordon for a golden duck.
Dhananjaya de Silva only scored four runs before he was trapped lbw off the bowling of Lockie Ferguson.
De Grandhomme took out Angelo Mathews for a duck, while Ferguson sent Jeevan Mendis packing for one run.
Karunaratne and Thisara Perera temporarily stemmed the bleeding with a 52-run partnership before Thisara was caught by Trent Boult at long-on off the bowling of Mitchell Santner for 27.
Sri Lanka’s lower order completely collapsed, but thanks to Karunaratne scoring an unbeaten 52, which came off 84 balls and included four boundaries, Sri Lanka reached 136 before being bowled out.
Henry and Ferguson picked up three wickets apiece, while Boult, Santner, De Grandhomme and James Neesham chipped in with one wicket each.
Chasing 137 to win, Guptill and Colin Munro finished the job themselves as they forged an unbeaten 137-run partnership, during which both batsmen brought up their half-centuries.
Guptill and Munro ensured the Black Caps won in quick time as well as they needed just 16.1 overs to lead the team to victory.
Guptill finished on 73, which came off 51 balls and included eight boundaries and two sixes, while Munro remained undefeated on 58, which came off 47 deliveries and included six boundaries and a six.
Henry was named Man of the Match.