McCullum, Anderson take New Zealand to 331/6

McCullum, Anderson take New Zealand to 331/6

February 14, 2015   07:49 am

Brendon McCullum gave the cricket World Cup the explosive opening organisers had hoped for with a blazing 65 as New Zealand scored an imposing 331 for six against Sri Lanka in cold and overcast conditions at Hagley Oval on Saturday.

Kane Williamson also scored his 16th one-day half century, while Grant Elliot (29) and Corey Anderson (75) put on 65 runs in 10 overs after leg-spinner Jeevan Mendis had captured two wickets in two balls to slow the co-hosts scoring.

Wicketkeeper Luke Ronchi, who survived being bowled by Malinga for 16 from a no ball, ended on 29 not out as he and Anderson then finished the innings with 73 runs in 38 balls.

New Zealand had got off to a flying start when McCullum lofted the first ball he faced to the extra cover boundary after being asked to bat by Angelo Mathews.

The pitch and conditions however did not help Sri Lanka’s bowlers with Lasith Malinga skidding on at a comfortable pace with little deviation through the air or off the pitch. He conceded 42 runs in his first four overs.

The openers put on 111 at almost seven an over before the introduction of left-arm spinner Rangana Herath clamped down the scoring rate and resulted in the New Zealand captain McCullum being well caught at long off by Mendis.

Sri Lanka had the opportunity to make a second break through when Kane Williamson was dropped by Kumar Sangakkara on the first ball from Suranga Lakmal.

The 24-year-old Williamson made the most of the escape to effortlessly bring up his 13th score in excess of 50 in his last 19 ODIs before he was brilliantly caught by a diving Dimuth Karunaratne at wide long on off Mendis for 57.

The leg-spinner then had Ross Taylor stumped for 14 by Sangakkara on the next ball, before Elliott and Anderson stabilised the innings. – Reuters 


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