Hosts New Zealand and Australia kick off their World Cup 2015 campaigns with big wins over Sri Lanka and England respectively.
In the opening match of cricket World Cup 2015 New Zealand faced Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka won the toss and keeping in mind the early start and breezy weather, they choose to field first. But Lanka’s decision soon proved futile when New Zealand openers provided them with a steady start with Brendon McCullum being in particularly destructive mood, scoring 65 off just 56 balls including 10 hits to the boundaries and one above it.
After the dismal effort by their seamers, Lankan spinners ( Herath, Lakamal and Jeevan Mendis) brought them back in the game with 2 quick wickets and also bottle-necked the run flow. Jeevan Mendis picked up the wickets of Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor in the 34th over to further peg New Zealand on the back foot.
And then, in came the destructive Corey Anderson who grabbed the Lankan attack by the scruff of their neck and thrashed them all over the park. Even the lethal yorkers of Lasith Malinga were rendered useless by the brute force of Anderson. Ronchi also chipped in with a quickfire 29 with four boundaries, helping the hosts to reach 331 for 6 in their 50 overs.
In reply, Sri Lanka was also provided with a steady start by their openers, T. Dilshan and L. Thirimanne. Thirimanne played well for his 50.
After Dilsan departed, Sangakara and L Thirimanne stitched up a 67 run partnership. But once they got out, no one else in the Lankan line up posed a real challenge to the well organized New Zealand bowling line up. Mathews did try to stop the Lankan ship from capsizing before 50 overs, but they were bundled out in just 46.1 overs; losing by a massive 98 run margin.
Corey Anderson was declared man of the match for his 75 runs with the bat and 2 for 18 with the ball.
Second match of the day. (Australia Vs. England)
2nd match of the day was played between arch rivals Australia and England. England won the toss and decided to bowl first.
There decision proved right when broad got rid of Warner and Watson on consecutive deliveries in the 8th over. The in-form Steve Smith fell to Chris Woakes in the 11 over scoring just 5 runs.
After that, Finch and Bailey steadied the innings. Bailey scored a very patient 50 while finch kept the run rate going with a quick-fire 135 of just 128 balls (12 fours and 3 sixes). After Finch and Bailey got out in 37th and 39th over respectively to Finn, onus to finish the innings in style fell on Maxwell, who did not disappoint and scored 66 off 40 balls (hitting Finn for four consecutive boundaries in 46th over). Haddin and Marsh also chipped in with brilliant cameos. Finn took the first hat-trick of #CWC2015, claiming the wickets of Haddin, Maxwell and Johnson from the last 3 balls of the Australian innings. Australia ended up scoring 342 for 9 in their 50 overs.
The English reply started on a rocky note when their opener Moin Ali was sent back by M. Starc in the 5th over itself. England was unable to recover from this as they kept losing wickets regularly except for one decent partnership.
The only silver lining for England in this match came as J taylor scored a brilliant 98 of 90 balls and ran out of partners from the other end. Run-out was a talking point as Shane Warne in the commentary box, rightly said that its a Not-Out as Mitch Marsh took 5 wickets enabling Australia to win the match comprehensively with a huge run margin of 111 runs as England got all out for 231 in just 41.5 overs.
Aaron finch was declared man of the match for his blazing century.
That’s all for today’s match analysis. All eyes on tomorrow, probably the biggest match of the World Cup 2015, India Vs. Pakistan.