New Zealand v Sri Lanka, Champions Trophy Group A, Cardiff June 9, 2013

Cardiff pitch 'incredibly difficult' - McCullum

37

New Zealand's captain, Brendon McCullum, was full of praise for a narrow one-wicket victory against Sri Lanka which broke a run of 10 out of 11 defeats against them in 50-over cricket.

The win came on a used Cardiff pitch that McCullum dubbed "incredibly difficult". New Zealand looked to be cruising at 48 for 1, needing only 139 to win, but their ninth wicket fell with five still needed before they squeezed over the line.

Sri Lanka were harshly done to by a rejected lbw decision against Tim Southee when he was struck on the boot by Lasith Malinga and got four runs instead.

Their frustration with several decisions led to Mahela Jaywardene and Tillakaratne Dilshan being reprimanded for excessive appealing. Both players pleaded guilty and lost 50 per cent of their match fee.

Nathan McCullum, made Man of the Match for his all-round performance of 2 for 23 and 32, was also fortunate to survive a catch at the wicket against Shaminda Eranga on 16 when only the wicketkeeper, Kumar Sangakkara, appealed for a nick revealed later by Hot Spot.

"I think today's wicket was an incredibly difficult wicket to bat on," said Brendon McCullum. "You sort of expect to chase 138 every day of the week, and then you see the ball sort of turning, stopping, keeping low and swinging, and you know that you've got Malinga to deal with and you know that 130-odd is a lot bigger total than what it suggests.

"These points were incredibly valuable especially against a team as dangerous as Sri Lanka in these conditions. They obviously knew the pitch was going to dry out a touch as well and the new ball was going to come into effect.

"I mentioned out on the field afterwards actually that I think it would have been quite a tough one to come back from if we hadn't gotten across the line.

"Nathan was obviously brilliant how he struck the ball as well as anyone else did on that surface, and obviously Tim as well showing some nice composure there towards the end.

"Once Nathan got out that was probably when things got a little bit nervy. But once we got down to the last few runs, it wasn't too bad because I knew that Tim Southee had faced a lot of balls against Malinga, and he was one of those guys that once you face him for a period it becomes a touch easier."

The match marked Daniel Vettori's first appearance for New Zealand since World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka in Pallakele in September last year and his wicket of Jaywardene made a contribution to Sri Lanka's victory.

"His wicket of Jayawardene was a huge wicket for us," McCullum said. "That was some really good prep and planning from us as well. It was a huge moment in the game where we were able to dismiss one of the most experienced players. But also in the other overs he asked a lot of questions and certainly played a valuable role for us.

"I think he'll be okay for the next few games. He's certainly no spring chicken in the field, but a couple of us aren't quite what we used to be on the field as well.

New Zealand now face a dilemma whether to field Vettori against Australia at Edgbaston on Wednesday or save him until they face England in Cardiff two days later on what could potentially be another spin-friendly surface. It may depend how he reacts to his first match action for such a prolonged period.

"We want to keep using Danny as we go through," McCullum said. "He's valuable to us. Knowing that the wicket, when we get back here, is likely to be similar to what we had today, our assessment of the wicket that we'll play at Edgbaston is very important.

"If it isn't going to have the same grip or stop or turn as we're seeing here, then we've got to marry up the risk of playing Dan, knowing we've still got some valuable men on the squad that can fill that void. But we'll have to talk to Dan and wait and see."

David Hopps is the UK editor of ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on June 11, 2013, 6:31 GMT

    Well sorry but NZ has had plenty of calls go against the team in the last few years, about time we got some of our own luck!

  • on June 11, 2013, 3:31 GMT

    Umpiring in this match was very much below par. 4 incorrect wickets (Vitori for NZ, Nathan caught behind, Southee plumb middle stump LBW, another LBW striking middle and leg) and a few incorrectly not called wides down leg side while NZ was batting. ICC should inquire and rate down the umpire or umpires concerned.

  • SLMaster on June 10, 2013, 13:46 GMT

    ICC should seriously consider training umpires. Not because of SL lost. The match tested umpires to their extremes. Umpires couldn't handle the pressure and accurate bowling of Malinga. Malinga's bowling was too accurate for umpires to judge, they seriously need training or help of third umpires.

  • on June 10, 2013, 11:25 GMT

    What do you expect? This is 138 run match. And defending that is a huge task. If they don't appeal would the umpire give the decision? Besides everybody's trying to win here.

  • LALITHKURUWITA on June 10, 2013, 11:23 GMT

    Yes, there were some bad umpiring decisions and both teams benefit. When the game was very close like todays, all fans start to make a noise of bad umpiring especially the last bad decision of Southee as it would have changed the result. I think ICC should do more to improve umpiring.

  • on June 10, 2013, 10:53 GMT

    Two overrated team!! But I am really scared about Srilanka's Batting future!!! Considering last few years it is NewZealand's best combination and they are in England for a full series as well as to adjust the condition before the tounament but what a poor show and what a poor comment by mcculum!!!

  • Dr.Lakson on June 10, 2013, 10:49 GMT

    If ICC is not willing increase the DRS reviews at least allow the reviews to be carried forward from the first to the second innings so that teams can make use of the DRS technology available.

  • Beige_and_blue on June 10, 2013, 10:21 GMT

    This article seems to imply that NZ were the beneficiaries of all the mistakes made by the umpires. Those of us who actually watched the game know better.

  • Cyril_Knight on June 10, 2013, 9:40 GMT

    The lbw not out decision for Southee was not a howler. Only a slow-mo zoomed right in showed that it hit the toe first. The umpire is 26 yards away not two feet like the zoomed camera and he cannot freeze his view. With the naked eye there was enough doubt for a not out decision. Therefore in cricket laws the umpire was correct!

    The decision to give Vettori out was a howler, there was a clear edge and a clear noise. Umpires get these right 95% of the time without any assistance. The crowd was pathetically small and quiet so no excuse there.

  • rukzz on June 10, 2013, 9:36 GMT

    It was a good game of cricket. Well done both teams for the entertainment. Enough with the complaining from both teams.

  • on June 11, 2013, 6:31 GMT

    Well sorry but NZ has had plenty of calls go against the team in the last few years, about time we got some of our own luck!

  • on June 11, 2013, 3:31 GMT

    Umpiring in this match was very much below par. 4 incorrect wickets (Vitori for NZ, Nathan caught behind, Southee plumb middle stump LBW, another LBW striking middle and leg) and a few incorrectly not called wides down leg side while NZ was batting. ICC should inquire and rate down the umpire or umpires concerned.

  • SLMaster on June 10, 2013, 13:46 GMT

    ICC should seriously consider training umpires. Not because of SL lost. The match tested umpires to their extremes. Umpires couldn't handle the pressure and accurate bowling of Malinga. Malinga's bowling was too accurate for umpires to judge, they seriously need training or help of third umpires.

  • on June 10, 2013, 11:25 GMT

    What do you expect? This is 138 run match. And defending that is a huge task. If they don't appeal would the umpire give the decision? Besides everybody's trying to win here.

  • LALITHKURUWITA on June 10, 2013, 11:23 GMT

    Yes, there were some bad umpiring decisions and both teams benefit. When the game was very close like todays, all fans start to make a noise of bad umpiring especially the last bad decision of Southee as it would have changed the result. I think ICC should do more to improve umpiring.

  • on June 10, 2013, 10:53 GMT

    Two overrated team!! But I am really scared about Srilanka's Batting future!!! Considering last few years it is NewZealand's best combination and they are in England for a full series as well as to adjust the condition before the tounament but what a poor show and what a poor comment by mcculum!!!

  • Dr.Lakson on June 10, 2013, 10:49 GMT

    If ICC is not willing increase the DRS reviews at least allow the reviews to be carried forward from the first to the second innings so that teams can make use of the DRS technology available.

  • Beige_and_blue on June 10, 2013, 10:21 GMT

    This article seems to imply that NZ were the beneficiaries of all the mistakes made by the umpires. Those of us who actually watched the game know better.

  • Cyril_Knight on June 10, 2013, 9:40 GMT

    The lbw not out decision for Southee was not a howler. Only a slow-mo zoomed right in showed that it hit the toe first. The umpire is 26 yards away not two feet like the zoomed camera and he cannot freeze his view. With the naked eye there was enough doubt for a not out decision. Therefore in cricket laws the umpire was correct!

    The decision to give Vettori out was a howler, there was a clear edge and a clear noise. Umpires get these right 95% of the time without any assistance. The crowd was pathetically small and quiet so no excuse there.

  • rukzz on June 10, 2013, 9:36 GMT

    It was a good game of cricket. Well done both teams for the entertainment. Enough with the complaining from both teams.

  • yezdi70 on June 10, 2013, 9:13 GMT

    I think that umpires should be given a free hand to approach the third umpire whenever they want to and in cases where the umpire does not approach the 3rd umpire then the cricketers can use their appealing quota to approach the 3rd umpire

  • Kakariki on June 10, 2013, 9:11 GMT

    @Ranil De Silva: yes but not every delivery is a yorker, it's called variation, and it's a vital part of any sport creating a challenge for the player(s). Two low scores so the wicket must have been tough.

  • Harlequin. on June 10, 2013, 8:58 GMT

    @ranil - i often think that when captains and players talk about the wicket, they inadvertently mean the air conditions as well. Malinga seemed to be getting quite a bit of movement through the air (the one to Williamson dipped a fair amount) which is something that makes English conditions quite tricky.

  • itismenithin on June 10, 2013, 7:59 GMT

    I never understood why 3rd umpire can't overrule howlers. It seems the teams are at the mercy of on field umpires once they use up their reviews!! If ICC has invested heavily on improving DRS technology for this tournament with more additional cameras and stuff then why don't they make use of it fully.

  • on June 10, 2013, 7:39 GMT

    Oh Come on Brendan, Malinga's 4 wickets did not have anything to do with the wicket as they were roaring yorkers on the full at the base of the stumps.. so what are you complaining about... the next 5 wickets fell?

  • Harlequin. on June 10, 2013, 7:31 GMT

    Every time there is a game where a few bad decisions are made, people start whinging about the DRS system. Let's spell it out nice and clear: it's not a problem with the DRS system, it's a problem with how the players are using it. Use it for decisions which you know are wrong ('know' being the important word) and it will work fine. Use it at times when you think you might get away with it or for tactical reasons, then things like this will happen. I really don't understand the issue

  • GDubNZ on June 10, 2013, 7:07 GMT

    Can't start using umpires decisions as an issue when there is the DRS in place. Yes, it was a match where there was some 'indfferent' umpire calls, but if teams continue to use reviews in a 'desperate' manner, then tough!. I'm a NZ supporter, and Williamsons review was crazy!, if he didn't challenge then it's possible later down the track Vettori could have benefited from that to over turn his wrong decision. Same as Sri Lanka, don't use DRS as a form of last resort.

  • on June 10, 2013, 6:54 GMT

    Srilanka will bounce back and make it to semis.

  • nzcricket174 on June 10, 2013, 6:53 GMT

    Those complaining about Southee's LBW, Sri Lanka not only used their review poorly, they also had a lucky wicket in Vettori thanks to them also not having a review. Evens up.

  • on June 10, 2013, 6:53 GMT

    @SLWaterboy, that coming from a supporter of a team that couldn't post in excess of 138. Your point is moot. We are an improving side, yours is a declining one.

  • muzika_tchaikovskogo on June 10, 2013, 6:49 GMT

    I wonder why nearly every article mentions the 'harsh' decisions Sri Lanka copped. To me, it pretty much evened out seeing as Vettori got a pretty poor one and Nathan McCullum got a marginal decision which could have gone both ways. True, there was an edge which got away, but why blame the umpire for it when the bowler himself saw or heard nothing?

  • on June 10, 2013, 6:15 GMT

    Sri Lanka weren't "harshly done to" over the Southee appeal. Yes, it should have been given - but he probably wouldn't have been in had Vettori been correctly given not out earlier. The umpires made several errors in the match but the teams could have prevented them mattering if they had more appropriately used the reviews. Blame the dumb players, not the umpires or dumb luck.

  • SLWATERBOY on June 10, 2013, 5:13 GMT

    Mr. Carl Dont be so sure yet. Yeah, you will be in the semis as usual and not beyond than that. A team who cannot chase 139 with out loosing 9 wickets..........

  • on June 10, 2013, 5:12 GMT

    For those complaining about Southee's LBW not being given, that evens out the caught and bowled that Jayawardene stood his ground on when Mc Nath bowled to him in the 2011 World Cup. Tough luck, move on.

  • Clyde on June 10, 2013, 5:00 GMT

    Your toe would have to be very close to the wicket for you to be given out, if your foot was on the ground. How does the umpire know the ball is not going to deviate, if it has not hit the ground and had time to have a post-bounce trajectory? I would say that in most cases it is not out.

  • donovancarragher on June 10, 2013, 4:36 GMT

    How do you break a run of 10 defeats in 11 games?

  • on June 10, 2013, 4:36 GMT

    New Zealand were just the better team. In fact they are the better team period. It isn't our fault that Sri Lanka went over board and tried to appeal for every piece of bowling that went down. No wonder the umpires had a hard time picking decisions. You may have been unlikely (maybe - not convinced) a couple of times but NZ were as well.

    We just did a better job. get over it. you're out we are in the semi's.

  • Fast_Track_Bully on June 10, 2013, 4:07 GMT

    As we predicted before this series, SL will be the first team to be out from group A. Whatever the fan's says, their team is not in good shape. Youngsters are yet to perform well and it adds burden to seniors like Sanga.

  • on June 10, 2013, 3:59 GMT

    Sri Lanka have nothing to complain about.That LBW they were denied was evened out by the bizzare Thisara run out.Lankan seniors were having a go at Southee after he was declared N.O by the ump on an LBW.What did they expect? Batsmen cannot and should not walk on LBW decisions.All things considered, the umpiring evened itself out.Both batting sides were abysmally poor,and Malinga was the standout perfomer. Awesome game of 50 over cricket!

  • P.D.DESAI on June 10, 2013, 3:46 GMT

    "The match marked Dan ... and his wicket of Mahela Jaywardene made a contribution to 'Sri Lanka's victory'". SRI LANKA's victory.!!! When did that happen..

  • Erebus26 on June 10, 2013, 2:56 GMT

    Mathews is out of his depth as a captain, and Sri Lanka's over zealous appealing showed that he couldn't control his players either, especially the senior ones like Dilshan, Mahela and Sanga who actually seemed to be the worse culprits. However, I must say that the bowling from both sides was pretty top notch. On the flipside though some of the batting was diabolically poor. I think some of the umpiring decisions highlighted problems with the review system, however I'm reluctant to blame the umpires themselves for mistakes during the match as there was an awful lot going on.

  • Kakariki on June 10, 2013, 2:23 GMT

    Reviews were used poorly by both teams. Several decisions were harsh, but they balanced out in the end. I guess Sri Lanka were getting desperate but the extra pressure on the umpires didn't bode well for them. Well done NZ, you consistently keep me on the edge of my seat! If this game was a book, it would be "How not to bat" by Sri Lanka & New Zealand

  • Bishop on June 10, 2013, 1:30 GMT

    Your article is incorrect. Southee was given runs for THAT lbw appeal, because the ball hit the bat after it hit his toe. Yes he should have been out, but at the speed that it all happened, with definite bat involved I don't see it as quite the howler it has been made out to be. Similarly the feather through to the keeper from NMac that many Sri Lankan fans are claiming as a howler, not even the SL fielders thought it was out. The luck runs both ways, as evidenced by the fluke of a run out just a few balls after the Southee incident. I believe Harsha called it "divine justice". Perhaps we should just leave it at that.

  • sl_supporter on June 10, 2013, 0:48 GMT

    Mate (Gagg), blame ICC for not using the review system properly. As mentioned by many cricketing greats, especially in this day and age, it make sense to get the third umpire step in when a wrong decision is given by a on field umpire. Take the review system out of the players hand and lets play it fair and square!!

  • RushanHassen on June 10, 2013, 0:40 GMT

    @Gagg - NZ was hard done by only one bad decision, that of Vettori's. The LBW decision you say the batsman was hit outside sided with 'On field call' according to Hawk Eye. So let us not exaggerate here.. Yes, Sri Lanka had a few occasions where they excessively appealed for but that does not allow the umpires to turn down the obvious decisions. If its out, its out regardless of excessive appealing or not. Mind you, any team defending a low score would be seen appealing for more compared to another day out at the park knowing they sniff a chance considering the match being so close. It's a norm that, but what shouldn't have happened was the umpires being silly about it.

  • on June 10, 2013, 0:22 GMT

    Sri Lanka's appealing was awful, routinely having 5 or 6 appeals every time the ball hit the pads (which was often) and the way mathews came at Southee after he was given not out was disgusting - he should have been fined too imo.

  • StevieS on June 9, 2013, 22:33 GMT

    "Sri Lanka were harshly done to by a rejected lbw decision against Tim Southee "

    Where is the mention of New Zealand being hashly done by with Vettorris LBW when he hit it, or the LWB when it the bastman was stuck outside the line? But Sri Lanka brought their one on themselfs by appealing for everything. Do they not teach the "cry wolf" fairytale in Sri Lanka?

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  • StevieS on June 9, 2013, 22:33 GMT

    "Sri Lanka were harshly done to by a rejected lbw decision against Tim Southee "

    Where is the mention of New Zealand being hashly done by with Vettorris LBW when he hit it, or the LWB when it the bastman was stuck outside the line? But Sri Lanka brought their one on themselfs by appealing for everything. Do they not teach the "cry wolf" fairytale in Sri Lanka?

  • on June 10, 2013, 0:22 GMT

    Sri Lanka's appealing was awful, routinely having 5 or 6 appeals every time the ball hit the pads (which was often) and the way mathews came at Southee after he was given not out was disgusting - he should have been fined too imo.

  • RushanHassen on June 10, 2013, 0:40 GMT

    @Gagg - NZ was hard done by only one bad decision, that of Vettori's. The LBW decision you say the batsman was hit outside sided with 'On field call' according to Hawk Eye. So let us not exaggerate here.. Yes, Sri Lanka had a few occasions where they excessively appealed for but that does not allow the umpires to turn down the obvious decisions. If its out, its out regardless of excessive appealing or not. Mind you, any team defending a low score would be seen appealing for more compared to another day out at the park knowing they sniff a chance considering the match being so close. It's a norm that, but what shouldn't have happened was the umpires being silly about it.

  • sl_supporter on June 10, 2013, 0:48 GMT

    Mate (Gagg), blame ICC for not using the review system properly. As mentioned by many cricketing greats, especially in this day and age, it make sense to get the third umpire step in when a wrong decision is given by a on field umpire. Take the review system out of the players hand and lets play it fair and square!!

  • Bishop on June 10, 2013, 1:30 GMT

    Your article is incorrect. Southee was given runs for THAT lbw appeal, because the ball hit the bat after it hit his toe. Yes he should have been out, but at the speed that it all happened, with definite bat involved I don't see it as quite the howler it has been made out to be. Similarly the feather through to the keeper from NMac that many Sri Lankan fans are claiming as a howler, not even the SL fielders thought it was out. The luck runs both ways, as evidenced by the fluke of a run out just a few balls after the Southee incident. I believe Harsha called it "divine justice". Perhaps we should just leave it at that.

  • Kakariki on June 10, 2013, 2:23 GMT

    Reviews were used poorly by both teams. Several decisions were harsh, but they balanced out in the end. I guess Sri Lanka were getting desperate but the extra pressure on the umpires didn't bode well for them. Well done NZ, you consistently keep me on the edge of my seat! If this game was a book, it would be "How not to bat" by Sri Lanka & New Zealand

  • Erebus26 on June 10, 2013, 2:56 GMT

    Mathews is out of his depth as a captain, and Sri Lanka's over zealous appealing showed that he couldn't control his players either, especially the senior ones like Dilshan, Mahela and Sanga who actually seemed to be the worse culprits. However, I must say that the bowling from both sides was pretty top notch. On the flipside though some of the batting was diabolically poor. I think some of the umpiring decisions highlighted problems with the review system, however I'm reluctant to blame the umpires themselves for mistakes during the match as there was an awful lot going on.

  • P.D.DESAI on June 10, 2013, 3:46 GMT

    "The match marked Dan ... and his wicket of Mahela Jaywardene made a contribution to 'Sri Lanka's victory'". SRI LANKA's victory.!!! When did that happen..

  • on June 10, 2013, 3:59 GMT

    Sri Lanka have nothing to complain about.That LBW they were denied was evened out by the bizzare Thisara run out.Lankan seniors were having a go at Southee after he was declared N.O by the ump on an LBW.What did they expect? Batsmen cannot and should not walk on LBW decisions.All things considered, the umpiring evened itself out.Both batting sides were abysmally poor,and Malinga was the standout perfomer. Awesome game of 50 over cricket!

  • Fast_Track_Bully on June 10, 2013, 4:07 GMT

    As we predicted before this series, SL will be the first team to be out from group A. Whatever the fan's says, their team is not in good shape. Youngsters are yet to perform well and it adds burden to seniors like Sanga.