ICC Cricket World Cup, 2010/11 / Commentary

ICC Cricket World Cup - 1st semi final

Sri Lanka v New Zealand

Sri Lanka won by 5 wickets (with 13 balls remaining)

2.20pm Cheers Liam. 10 minutes to go here. New Zealand's chances? Slim to none, surely. About as much of a chance as they had against South Africa, I'd suggest...

Anyway, before all the action we have ceremony. The national anthems. Sri Lanka's might take a while! Hmm, nothing more than mumbles from most of the New Zealand team. Jesse Ryder and Ross Taylor were belting it out though! Lots of hand-on -heart earnestness from the crowd, which still isn't capacity. Wading through security must take a while. They'll all be in by the end of the anthem though, that's for sure. We've entered verse 39 by the sounds of things....

With the anthems done, eventually, we're almost ready to go. I hope you've all finalised your fantasy teams for this game. In case you didn't know, we've got some great prizes on offer. We are giving away a FREE 13 inch Macbook Air Notebook. All you have to do is win our World Cup fantasy game.

Be fascinating to see how the New Zealand openers approach this. England were bound to the crease prodding and poking hopelessly at Dilshan's spinners. They proved 220 is not nearly enough so New Zealand have to be more positive. First up is Malinga, who kisses the turf and kisses the ball before running up. Here we go...

2.00pm Hello everyone, and welcome to ESPNcricinfo's coverage of the first semi-final of the 2011 World Cup. Can you believe it, New Zealand have reached the semis for the sixth time. This is the team that prepared for this Word Cup by failing to make the final of a tri-series in Sri Lanka, being humiliated 4-0 by Bangladesh and then being hammered 5-0 in India. Oh, and they then lost a one-day series 3-2 at home to Pakistan. And yet here they are. Will Sri Lanka be underestimating them? Not a chance. The Sri Lankans will have been preparing to face South Africa in this game, and though New Zealand are, on paper, weaker opponents, their performance to get this far means they'll be treated with as much caution as any other team might have. Sri Lanka appear to have all bases covered, but their lower middle order hasn't quite fired in this tournament and that's the weakness New Zealand, who revel in the underdog tag, will be hoping to expose.

I'm Liam Brickhill, and together with my esteemed colleagues Nitin Sundar and Sahil Dutta will be bringing you live ball-by-ball commentary of this match.

The toss is coming up shortly, but while we wait for that there's a menagerie of articles to peruse in the lead-up to this game. George Binoy has prepared an all-encompassing preview, which will fill you in on all the salient points to be pondered, while Firdose Moonda has unearthed a couple of the key battles that will light up today's contest.

Daniel Vettori calls heads, heads it is, and New Zealand win the toss and will bat. There was a question over whether New Zealand might play three spinners today, but that's not to be as seamer Andy McKay comes in for Luke Woodcock. The big news for Sri Lankan fans is that Murali is fit to play, and Sri Lanka retain their line-up from the quarter-final against England.

"Is the pitch going to play low and slow or is it going to be a nice batting track like the last game?" asks Bluffmaster. The teams are playing on the same strip that was used for that England game, which didn't impress Vettori, but Sangakkara said at the toss that he expects the pitch to play better than it looks.

"A good toss to lose for Sanga," reckons Sulaimaan. "I think he himself wasnt sure as to bat or bowl.In the end I think its good for SL to chase."

"Most people expected New Zealand to be badly outmatched against South Africa," writes Mark Kidger. "Now I guess 95% of supporters think that Sri Lanka will mug them. Can New Zealand do it twice? Can they finally reach a Final after so many near misses? If they can, it will be the biggest shock of a World Cup that has had a few surprises."

Robert L isn't happy with New Zealand's team selection: "New Zealand really should have played Luke Woodcock in this match, slow pitch, alot of turn, come on it's common sense."

Temaia writes: "write NZ off at your peril, David and Goliath situation coming up....."

Right, I'm going to hand over to Sahil Dutta for the first hour. Play is less than 15 minutes away, and there's a palpable buzz in the air here at Cricinfo Towers. See you later.

0.1

Malinga to Guptill, no run, interesting start, some swing first up outside off stump. Guptill lifts his arms high out of trouble

Liam's tending to other stuff, so this is Nitin Sundar to kick off commentary for this chase.

0.1

Malinga to Guptill, no run

0.2

Malinga to Guptill, no run, swing again, touch shorter of a length and again Guptill flags it through

0.3

Malinga to Guptill, no run, better ball here, forces Guptill to play from a fuller length. Again some swing but easily pushed away

0.4

Malinga to Guptill, no run, excellent, searching start from Malinga. Drive-me length but swing away keeps Guptill careful

0.5

Malinga to Guptill, FOUR, first boundary of the semi-finals! And in good style too. Malinga drifts too straight onto the pads and Guptill picked it up, flicking to the midwicket boundary with excellent timing. Good sign there

0.6

Malinga to Guptill, no run, just the one bad stray delivery in the over then as Malinga finds the right length and line again

Judging a pitch after one over is as silly as judging it before a ball has been bowled but... from the pick-up shot it's not entirely slow. Looks terrible but probably won't play as bad as it looks.

End of over 1 (4 runs) New Zealand 4/0 (RR: 4.00)
MJ Guptill    4* (6b 1x4)      SL Malinga    1-0-4-0
BB McCullum    0* (0b)     

Left-arm spin to open the bowling, it's Rangana Herath.

1.1

Herath to BB McCullum, no run, this is slow off the wicket and McCullum mistimes an attempted cut shot, bottom edging into the off side

1.2

Herath to BB McCullum, FOUR, ah, top shot this. McCullum jumps deep into his crease and thumps a short ball over midwicket for four

1.3

Herath to BB McCullum, no run, much better delivery and the response is duly respectful from McCullum

1.4

Herath to BB McCullum, 1 run, full toss but McCullum fails to take advantage. Tapping to cover instead of smashing it out the ground

1.5

Herath to Guptill, 1 run, fuller ball finds a full face as Guptill pushes down the ground and scoots off for a single

1.6

Herath to BB McCullum, no run, resolute and steady defence to end the over. Good start for New Zealand then. Better than England managed against Dilshan in the quarters on this ground

End of over 2 (6 runs) New Zealand 10/0 (RR: 5.00)
BB McCullum    5* (5b 1x4)      HMRKB Herath    1-0-6-0
MJ Guptill    5* (7b 1x4)      SL Malinga    1-0-4-0

Change straight away, Angelo Matthews has replaced Malinga.

2.1

Mathews to Guptill, FOUR, oh dear, Murali's dive at short midwicket is very ginger. Doesn't get near the ball as a leg-side delivery is flicked around the corner

2.2

Mathews to Guptill, no run, better line, finding off stump on a length and Guptill defends calmly

2.3

Mathews to Guptill, 2 runs, again the line drifts a touch leg side and Guptill turns it into the leg side, timing it slightly better than he imagined which allowed him to come back for a swift couple

2.4

Mathews to Guptill, no run, better length, touch shorter and pushed to short midwicket. Keeper up to the stumps, by the way. Fair to say the pitch isn't a flier

2.5

Mathews to Guptill, no run, tight line around off stump and duly defended

2.6

Mathews to Guptill, no run, best delivery of the over, classic one-day medium pace. Sliding into the batsman and almost squeezing through on a good length

End of over 3 (6 runs) New Zealand 16/0 (RR: 5.33)
MJ Guptill    11* (13b 2x4)      AD Mathews    1-0-6-0
BB McCullum    5* (5b 1x4)      HMRKB Herath    1-0-6-0

3.1

Herath to BB McCullum, no run, Herath loops this up a touch and finds some spin as a result. Quietly defended

3.2

Herath to BB McCullum, no run, hint of false shot as some spin finds the outer half of the bat

3.3

Herath to BB McCullum, no run, slider, slightly quicker and McCullum hurries his defence

3.4

Herath to BB McCullum, no run, spin! Proper turn here squared McCullum up. Herath holding it back a touch and finding good purchase as a result

3.5

Herath to BB McCullum, no run, much quicker here and McCullum jabs down in a rush

3.6

Herath to BB McCullum, no run, excellent over, maiden no less. Finishes with some spin again nothing for McCullum to get hold of

End of over 4 (maiden) New Zealand 16/0 (RR: 4.00)
BB McCullum    5* (11b 1x4)      HMRKB Herath    2-1-6-0
MJ Guptill    11* (13b 2x4)      AD Mathews    1-0-6-0

By the way, if you'd like to share pleasant conversation and charming witticisms with like-minded cricket fans why not head down to our Facebook page. No screaming matches please, lets behave ourselves kiddies!

4.1

Mathews to Guptill, no run, Guptill steers a drive towards point who threatens a misfield before gathering. Almost sold a dummy to the batsman but they declined to run

4.2

Mathews to Guptill, FOUR, uppish but powerful! That's Guptill's area. Full-face check-drive down the ground, races to the rope. Quality shot

4.3

Mathews to Guptill, no run, having taken the boundary this can be happily defended

4.4

Mathews to Guptill, no run, again shapely textbook defence

4.5

Mathews to Guptill, no run, very tight line around middle, the length is too short for Guptill to drive so he nudges to leg

4.6

Mathews to Guptill, no run, just the boundary from the over then as Guptill defends to finish

Already the New Zealand batsman are taking drinks. Hot and humid work out there.

End of over 5 (4 runs) New Zealand 20/0 (RR: 4.00)
MJ Guptill    15* (19b 3x4)      AD Mathews    2-0-10-0
BB McCullum    5* (11b 1x4)      HMRKB Herath    2-1-6-0

5.1

Herath to BB McCullum, SIX, wow, McCullum has got plenty of this! Herath tosses one up and McCullum thrust down a pad and swung his lines through a sweep to send it scattering the crowds over deep square

5.2

Herath to BB McCullum, no run, after that shot Herath is quicker and McCullum blocks

5.3

Herath to BB McCullum, no run, touch wide this time and the attempted chop is mistimed

5.4

Herath to BB McCullum, 1 leg bye, huge appeal as McCullum is struck on the back pad around off stump. Very close indeed but Dar decided not out and replays show it only grazing off stump

5.5

Herath to Guptill, no run, careful defence this time

5.6

Herath to Guptill, 2 runs, the shot deserved a boundary but long-off is straight enough to dive and save on the rope. It was driven with a perfectly-straight bat, on the up down the ground

So, six overs in and New Zealand are looking well set. 260?

End of over 6 (9 runs) New Zealand 29/0 (RR: 4.83)
MJ Guptill    17* (21b 3x4)      HMRKB Herath    3-1-14-0
BB McCullum    11* (15b 1x4 1x6)      AD Mathews    2-0-10-0

6.1

Mathews to BB McCullum, no run, for no real reason McCullum gets in a tangle defending this off the front foot

Geoff: "block-bash continues... take some singles men!"

6.2

Mathews to BB McCullum, 1 run, well, you'll like this then, Geoff. McCullum opens the face to steer a square drive into space

6.3

Mathews to Guptill, 1 run, and more singles for Geoff as Guptill pushes down to long-on

6.4

Mathews to BB McCullum, no run, the attempted square drive finds point which denies the chance of another this-one's-for-Geoff single

6.5

Mathews to BB McCullum, no run, good line from Matthews, very straight and a firm drive finds mid-on

6.6

Mathews to BB McCullum, 1 run, here is the square drive again, beats a diving Dilshan at point

Just want to thank cricinfo as I am able to watch this wonderful battle through visionary eyes of your team," writes Dr. Tam. "I am doing a clinic in a remote Australian community tonight." Good on ya!

End of over 7 (3 runs) New Zealand 32/0 (RR: 4.57)
BB McCullum    13* (20b 1x4 1x6)      AD Mathews    3-0-13-0
MJ Guptill    18* (22b 3x4)      HMRKB Herath    3-1-14-0

Jigish is happy with this start: "New Zealand starting strong ... here's to the underdog "

7.1

Herath to BB McCullum, OUT, gone now! The heave-ho sweep which worked so well last over is missed as Herath slips in quicker ball under the bat. Clips off stump and Herath punches the air!

BB McCullum b Herath 13 (27m 21b 1x4 1x6) SR: 61.90

Smart bowling ends McCullum's stay. He's not really had a great tournament, hasn't performed against the bigger teams. The next guy has, Jesse Ryder. Him and Taylor are the two crucial wickets.

7.2

Herath to Ryder, 1 run, Ryder is away straight away, easing his ample weight back and clipping through midwicket

7.3

Herath to Guptill, no run, big spin for Herath here. Touch of bounce too but it's slow off the pitch and Guptill has time to defend

7.4

Herath to Guptill, 1 run, more air on this and Guptill pushes a single down the ground

7.5

Herath to Ryder, no run, Ryder stretches forward to very respectfully defend outside off stump

7.6

Herath to Ryder, no run, touch of spin to end an excellent, wicket-taking over. He's varied things nicely and Ryder has to get his eye in

End of over 8 (2 runs) New Zealand 34/1 (RR: 4.25)
JD Ryder    1* (3b)      HMRKB Herath    4-1-16-1
MJ Guptill    19* (24b 3x4)      AD Mathews    3-0-13-0

8.1

Mathews to Guptill, 1 run, Guptill has looked in good order so far today. He's back on his straight drive and earns a single to long-on

8.2

Mathews to Ryder, no run, width to Ryder is normally bad news for the bowler but Matthews gets away with this as it's toe-ended to cover

8.3

Mathews to Ryder, no run, okay, so the after-eight-overs pitch assessment is that it's er, fairly slow. A straight drive finds mid-off without much timing

8.4

Mathews to Ryder, no run, touch slower here, Ryder almost got in trouble be flicking across the line but saw it just in time

8.5

Mathews to Ryder, 2 runs, ah that is the slow pitch working it's menace. Ryder scoops an uppish drive wide of cover

8.6

Mathews to Ryder, no run, again Ryder stands very still, just transferring his weight to push away

End of over 9 (3 runs) New Zealand 37/1 (RR: 4.11)
JD Ryder    3* (8b)      AD Mathews    4-0-16-0
MJ Guptill    20* (25b 3x4)      HMRKB Herath    4-1-16-1

Right then, here's where it all went wrong in the group game for New Zealand. It's the international man of mystery Ajantha Mendis. Long on and deep square are the men out. Slip in place.

9.1

Mendis to Guptill, no run, starts straight, he's always straight. Guptill flashes a drive straight to cover

9.2

Mendis to Guptill, no run, this is heading to middle before Guptill eases into line to block

9.3

Mendis to Guptill, 1 run, nicely done from the batsman, playing it late and straight down the ground

9.4

Mendis to Ryder, no run, ooh, Ryder misreads this and plays outside of it a fraction as it spins back to him. Went uppishly back to Mendis

9.5

Mendis to Ryder, no run, slightly quicker here and Ryder pops forward to defend

9.6

Mendis to Ryder, no run, very straight ball finds a very straight bat

End of over 10 (1 run) New Zealand 38/1 (RR: 3.80)
JD Ryder    3* (11b)      BAW Mendis    1-0-1-0
MJ Guptill    21* (28b 3x4)      AD Mathews    4-0-16-0

Sangakkara is a mighty inventive captain but this is orthodoxy personified - Bowling Powerplay taken.

10.1

Mathews to Guptill, 1 run, very straight from Matthews and Guptill aims an on-drive down the ground

10.2

Mathews to Ryder, no run, up and around off stump, sliding back in a fraction. Ryder defends

10.3

Mathews to Ryder, no run, a hint outside off stump and Ryder is again careful in defence

10.4

Mathews to Ryder, no run, Ryder's patience is just being tested here. Gets something approaching a half-volley and he slaps to mid-off. Can't time it thanks to it dragging off the pitch a touch

10.5

Mathews to Ryder, 1 run, ooh, something had to give and Ryder's flash found an outside edge that sped through a vacant slip area

10.6

Mathews to Guptill, 2 runs, nicely done from Guptill here, taking a full ball from around off stump and flicking a couple to midwicket, like a very, very downmarket Viv Richards

End of over 11 (4 runs) New Zealand 42/1 (RR: 3.81)
MJ Guptill    24* (30b 3x4)      AD Mathews    5-0-20-0
JD Ryder    4* (15b)      BAW Mendis    1-0-1-0

11.1

Mendis to Ryder, FOUR, wonderful shot, that will release the pressure on Ryder. Too short from Mendis and it sat up asking for trouble, the key was for Ryder to wait and wait he did, before cracking a cut shot wide of point for four

11.2

Mendis to Ryder, 1 run, boundary followed by an inside-edge to midwicket

11.3

Mendis to Guptill, no run, carom-ball is watchfully defended back to the bowler

11.4

Mendis to Guptill, 2 runs, Mendis is too short again, touch too wide as well and Guptill helps himself to a chop behind square for a couple

11.5

Mendis to Guptill, no run, more air on this and good line too. Very carefully blocked

11.6

Mendis to Guptill, 1 run, Guptill loves it on his pads, clips around the corner to bring up the New Zealand fifty. Decent start for New Zealand, the innings is brewing nicely

End of over 12 (8 runs) New Zealand 50/1 (RR: 4.16)
MJ Guptill    27* (34b 3x4)      BAW Mendis    2-0-9-0
JD Ryder    9* (17b 1x4)      AD Mathews    5-0-20-0

12.1

Mathews to Guptill, 1 run, Matthews continues and Guptill's full-face, in-the-V drive is unfurled again. Just for a single though because long-on is in place

12.2

Mathews to Ryder, 1 run, wristy, open-face steer sends this down to third man

12.3

Mathews to Guptill, 1 run, another open face, much slower ball and Guptill had to wait in position for a late cut for a long, long time before it slides off the face

12.4

Mathews to Ryder, no run, Matthews is bowling offspinners here! Tossed up and cutting away, Ryder has to drive in slow motion

12.5

Mathews to Ryder, FOUR, four more! Top work from Ryder, offered some width and Ryder eases his arms gently through the ball sending it over cover and speeding to the rope

12.6

Mathews to Ryder, no run, too wide again from Matthews, but it's closer to a yorker length so Ryder can't get the elevation he got last time

End of over 13 (7 runs) New Zealand 57/1 (RR: 4.38)
JD Ryder    14* (21b 2x4)      AD Mathews    6-0-27-0
MJ Guptill    29* (36b 3x4)      BAW Mendis    2-0-9-0

13.1

Mendis to Guptill, no run, Mendis slides this back into Guptill, up and around off stump coming back in

13.2

Mendis to Guptill, no run, last one in, this one out. Blocked quietly

13.3

Mendis to Guptill, no run, excellent line and length, which added to all the variation means Guptill is very watchful

13.4

Mendis to Guptill, 1 run, this spun neither in nor away and was dragged a touch too short which allowed Guptill to squeeze a drive away

13.5

Mendis to Ryder, no run, Ryder stretches forward to defend. Moves his feet to the spinners much more than the quicks. Which makes sense

13.6

Mendis to Ryder, no run, not sure Ryder knows what Mendis is up to. He's very cagey in defence

End of over 14 (1 run) New Zealand 58/1 (RR: 4.14)
JD Ryder    14* (23b 2x4)      BAW Mendis    3-0-10-0
MJ Guptill    30* (40b 3x4)      AD Mathews    6-0-27-0

Right then, here comes hobbling trouble. The great Murali. Around the wicket, slip lurking.

14.1

Muralitharan to Guptill, 1 run, creaks up to the stumps, lands it on a perfect length and line and Guptill clips to leg

14.2

Muralitharan to Ryder, 1 run, plenty of air on this and Ryder squeezes a drive to deep cover

14.3

Muralitharan to Guptill, no run, this starts leg side and spins further. Clipped a pad though so no wide

14.4

Muralitharan to Guptill, no run, lovely air and line but not quite yet fizz off the pitch of old so easier to defend

14.5

Muralitharan to Guptill, no run, again the line is very good so even with no spin careful defence

14.6

Muralitharan to Guptill, no run, very accurate over to begin as Guptill blocks again

End of over 15 (2 runs) New Zealand 60/1 (RR: 4.00)
MJ Guptill    31* (45b 3x4)      M Muralitharan    1-0-2-0
JD Ryder    15* (24b 2x4)      BAW Mendis    3-0-10-0

15.1

Mendis to Ryder, no run, ooh, some bite here. Quicker and spinning away. Ryder steers wide of slip

15.2

Mendis to Ryder, 1 run, slightly fuller which means Ryder is more comfortable pushing this wide of point

15.3

Mendis to Guptill, 1 run, dragged a touch short but only singles available at the moment as Guptill hops back to punch to deep point

15.4

Mendis to Ryder, no run, this spins away from a length, just enough for Ryder to mistime his drive

15.5

Mendis to Ryder, no run, again nothing on offer for Ryder. New Zealand slowing down now

15.6

Mendis to Ryder, no run, solid and steady defence but Sri Lanka won't mind

End of over 16 (2 runs) New Zealand 62/1 (RR: 3.87)
JD Ryder    16* (29b 2x4)      BAW Mendis    4-0-12-0
MJ Guptill    32* (46b 3x4)      M Muralitharan    1-0-2-0

Just 5 runs from the last 3 overs. The Murali Mendis combo is slowing it all down.

16.1

Muralitharan to Guptill, 1 run, clipped away from a full length into the leg side

16.2

Muralitharan to Ryder, 3 runs, bottom edge breaks the shackles, at least for a moment. Slips under Jayawardene and heads off towards third-man

16.3

Muralitharan to Guptill, no run, steady blocking to a fuller ball

16.4

Muralitharan to Guptill, 1 run, Guptill clips a single into space

16.5

Muralitharan to Ryder, no run, Ryder finds short cover with a well-timed drive. Just gave himself a bit of room

16.6

Muralitharan to Ryder, no run, more resolute blocking. Murali has started well, better than against England, so perhaps the injury is wearing off

End of over 17 (5 runs) New Zealand 67/1 (RR: 3.94)
JD Ryder    19* (32b 2x4)      M Muralitharan    2-0-7-0
MJ Guptill    34* (49b 3x4)      BAW Mendis    4-0-12-0

17.1

Mendis to Guptill, no run, ooh, good move putting in a silly mid-on, this bobbles up one-bounce to the new man

17.2

Mendis to Guptill, no run, clipped firmly but straight to the newly-positioned man. Could cut off Guptill's escape shot

17.3

Mendis to Guptill, no run, two spin in and this one goes away, past a groping outside edge

17.4

Mendis to Guptill, no run, wonderful bowling again, nothing for Guptill to work with

17.5

Mendis to Guptill, no run, suddenly things are closing in on these two batsman. Feels like there are fielders everywhere

17.6

Mendis to Guptill, 1 run, this will do nicely, Guptill dropping into the off side and haring off for a single

Intriguing first hour that. Both sides will be pleased because neither has got off to a flier. Like the players, I'm off for a drink, so here's Liam. ... Hello everyone! A decent consolidation between Ryder and Guptill, but they'll surely be wary of taking it too cautiously after what happened to England. Murali to continue, round the wicket

End of over 18 (1 run) New Zealand 68/1 (RR: 3.77)
MJ Guptill    35* (55b 3x4)      BAW Mendis    5-0-13-0
JD Ryder    19* (32b 2x4)      M Muralitharan    2-0-7-0

18.1

Muralitharan to Guptill, 1 run, tucked to wide midwicket, just the one

18.2

Muralitharan to Ryder, no run, a meaty thump goes straight to short extra cover

18.3

Muralitharan to Ryder, OUT, gone this time! Ryder was lining up a similar shot, looking to power it away through the off side. A touch of extra bounce on the delivery, it fairly took off outside off, and a thin edge nestles safely in Sangakkara's gloves. Sri Lanka are ecstatic, they've got this match by the scruff of the neck now

JD Ryder c †Sangakkara b Muralitharan 19 (48m 34b 2x4 0x6) SR: 55.88

18.4

Muralitharan to Taylor, 1 run, Murali stays round the wicket to Taylor, and this one rushes on and bounces too. Taylor biffs uppishly down to long-on to get off the mark

18.5

Muralitharan to Guptill, 1 run, Guptill shuffles across to off and nudges into the leg side for a single, playing across the front pad

Silly mid-off in place for Taylor

18.6

Muralitharan to Taylor, 1 run, a touch too full, driven down to long-on

Murali now has 67 World Cup wickets. McGrath is top of the pile with 71. What a pair of legends.

End of over 19 (4 runs) New Zealand 72/2 (RR: 3.78)
LRPL Taylor    2* (2b)      M Muralitharan    3-0-11-1
MJ Guptill    37* (57b 3x4)      BAW Mendis    5-0-13-0

Change in attack, Herath comes back to bowl to the two right-handers. Slip in place.

19.1

Herath to Taylor, no run, flighted up on middle, breaking away, defended back down the track

19.2

Herath to Taylor, no run, and again, this time Taylor tries to nudge wide of the bowler but there's no single as Herath rushes across

19.3

Herath to Taylor, no run, flatter this time on off stump, the ball spins away and Taylor chops to point

19.4

Herath to Taylor, 1 run, now he finds one, Taylor stoops to sweep and sends the ball down to fine leg

19.5

Herath to Guptill, no run, solid defence from Guptill, coming forward

19.6

Herath to Guptill, 1 run, flicked through the vacant square leg, Sangakkara hares after the ball as the batsmen set off. Just the one

End of over 20 (2 runs) New Zealand 74/2 (RR: 3.70)
MJ Guptill    38* (59b 3x4)      HMRKB Herath    5-1-18-1
LRPL Taylor    3* (6b)      M Muralitharan    3-0-11-1

20.1

Muralitharan to Guptill, 1 wide, offspinner, going down the leg side but it clips the pad on the way through .. or did it? That's called wide

20.2

Muralitharan to Guptill, no run, a touch short, Guptill steps back and slams it back to the bowler

20.2

Muralitharan to Guptill, no run, looped up beautifully on middle, Guptill stretches forward in defence

20.3

Muralitharan to Guptill, no run, half an appeal as Guptill takes one on the pad, but that was optimistic

20.4

Muralitharan to Guptill, 1 run, again just a little short on middle and off, Guptill swipes down to long-on for one

20.5

Muralitharan to Taylor, 3 runs, edged! That looked like the doosra, the ball took a thick edge and rolled away down to third man. No slip in place, just the silly mid-off

20.6

Muralitharan to Guptill, no run, pushed defensively into the covers, another good over

End of over 21 (5 runs) New Zealand 79/2 (RR: 3.76)
MJ Guptill    39* (64b 3x4)      M Muralitharan    4-0-16-1
LRPL Taylor    6* (7b)      HMRKB Herath    5-1-18-1

Well, yet another change in the bowler. Maling comes back with a 20-over old ball in his hands. Will there be any swing? No slip in place

21.1

Malinga to Taylor, FOUR, that does swing! Wobbling through the air at good pace, reversing in. The ball comes off the toe, going straight into the ground and bouncing away down to third man. He was aiming for the yorker first up

21.2

Malinga to Taylor, 1 run, very full again, dug out just wide of the mid-off fielder, who runs round to cut it off

21.3

Malinga to Guptill, OUT, unplayable! A searing inswinging yorker bursts through Guptill and makes a mess of the stumps. He may well have been expecting that after watching the first two deliveries, but it didn't appear to make much difference. He was in too, but that was just too good. The slinger strikes!

MJ Guptill b Malinga 39 (91m 65b 3x4 0x6) SR: 60.00

In walks Scott Styris. He's the veteran of this team at 35, but he's never played a match at the Premadasa before.

21.4

Malinga to Styris, no run, just kept out! Styris was surely expecting the yorker, but that wasn't convincingly played at all. Still, he did just enough to keep it out

21.5

Malinga to Styris, no run, Malinga follows that up with a bouncer, it's dug in at a decent pace but loops harmlessly over the batsman

21.6

Malinga to Styris, no run, full again, not quite the yorker and Styris drives powerfully straight back towards the bowler, who stoops in his follow-through to lay a hand on the ball and save runs

End of over 22 (5 runs) New Zealand 84/3 (RR: 3.81)
SB Styris    0* (3b)      SL Malinga    2-0-9-1
LRPL Taylor    11* (9b 1x4)      M Muralitharan    4-0-16-1

22.1

Muralitharan to Taylor, no run, Taylor stretches forward and nudges cautiously behind square

22.2

Muralitharan to Taylor, no run, offspinner, pushed to midwicket

22.3

Muralitharan to Taylor, no run, fuller, Taylor drives back to the bowler

22.4

Muralitharan to Taylor, no run, this time Taylor stays deep in the crease, flicking to midwicket again

22.5

Muralitharan to Taylor, no run, dangerous shot! Taylor makes room as Murali spears one down quicker on off stump, chopping it down at the very last moment. The ball could easily have crashed into off stump there, definitely not short enough for the shot

22.6

Muralitharan to Taylor, no run, punched to mid-off, Taylor searches for the single but there's none to be had

End of over 23 (maiden) New Zealand 84/3 (RR: 3.65)
LRPL Taylor    11* (15b 1x4)      M Muralitharan    5-1-16-1
SB Styris    0* (3b)      SL Malinga    2-0-9-1

23.1

Malinga to Styris, 2 runs, slower ball from Malinga, not sure if Styris quite picked it but it slipped out as a full toss and the batsman manages to clip into the leg side

23.2

Malinga to Styris, 1 run, full of length outside off, Styris steps forward and angles the drive down to third man

23.3

Malinga to Taylor, 2 runs, length again from Malinga, sitting up outside off as Taylor flashes hard at it. The ball bounces down to third man's right for two

23.4

Malinga to Taylor, 1 run, reverse swing, nice and full but not the yorker. Taylor drives just wide of a deep mid-on and they charge through for one

23.5

Malinga to Styris, no run, how has that been kept out? Another fantastic inswinging yorker, Styris jams the bat down in hope and the ball bobbles into the leg side

23.6

Malinga to Styris, no run, more reverse, from a full length but not the yorker to finish. This snaked in quite viciously through the air, and Malinga has his hands on his head as Styris nudges to midwicket

Sri Lanka are fired up out there, they've got to feel they've taken charge of the game now. They're no doubt helped by the noisy crowd - there's been no let-up in the carnival atmosphere

End of over 24 (6 runs) New Zealand 90/3 (RR: 3.75)
SB Styris    3* (7b)      SL Malinga    3-0-15-1
LRPL Taylor    14* (17b 1x4)      M Muralitharan    5-1-16-1

Dilshan replaces Murali, and he's got a defensive field. No slip in place

24.1

Dilshan to Taylor, 1 run, starts with a very loopy one on middle, driven down to long-on

Looks like Styris has taken an off stump guard to Dilshan

24.2

Dilshan to Styris, no run, tossed up wide of off, Styris drives well but straight to the cover fielder

24.3

Dilshan to Styris, no run, another good-looking shot, this time it's intercepted at midwicket however

24.4

Dilshan to Styris, 1 run, just a little too full from Dilshan, and Styris is able to pick up one down to long-on

24.5

Dilshan to Taylor, 1 run, flighted once again, Taylor whips across the front pad at the last moment to pick up one through square leg

24.6

Dilshan to Styris, no run, slapped back to the bowler, and a dot ball to finish

End of over 25 (3 runs) New Zealand 93/3 (RR: 3.72)
SB Styris    4* (11b)      TM Dilshan    1-0-3-0
LRPL Taylor    16* (19b 1x4)      SL Malinga    3-0-15-1

Don't forget you can get wicket alerts for this game, and tomorrow's (in fact, every match we cover), with our free extension for Google Chrome.

25.1

Malinga to Taylor, 1 run, slung down full on off stump, Taylor chops it hard into the ground and the ball bounces up to cover

25.2

Malinga to Styris, no run, superb yorker, Styris is operating with an almost Collingwood-esque low backlift though, and he's able to keep it out

25.3

Malinga to Styris, FOUR, Malinga errs slightly with his length, and a half-volley is driven hard out to deep cover boundary. Great timing

25.4

Malinga to Styris, no run, on the toe! Another hooping yorker, slipping towards leg stump and Styris finds a way to keep it out

25.5

Malinga to Styris, no run, full of length, driven to mid-off

25.6

Malinga to Styris, FOUR, shot! Styris is quick to seize on another half-volley as Malinga misses his mark witht the yorker, and he unfurls a fine straight drive that beats the bowler, scoots past the stumps, and races to the straight boundary

End of over 26 (9 runs) New Zealand 102/3 (RR: 3.92)
SB Styris    12* (16b 2x4)      SL Malinga    4-0-24-1
LRPL Taylor    17* (20b 1x4)      TM Dilshan    1-0-3-0

New Zealand are making similar progress to England the other day. England were 91 for 2 at this stage. Do they need to take a more aggressive approach though?

26.1

Dilshan to Taylor, 3 wides, Dilshan slips one down the leg side, that's wide

26.1

Dilshan to Taylor, no run, much better line, tossed up outside off and Taylor leans forward to defend

26.2

Dilshan to Taylor, no run, defend turn for Dilshan when he flights it, this one breaks from off stump and takes Taylor on the pad, rolling into the leg side. No lbw shout, was definitely slipping down leg

26.3

Dilshan to Taylor, 2 runs, nice little paddle-sweep from Taylor, and they take two before the fielder can run round and hurl the ball back in

26.4

Dilshan to Taylor, no run, worked with a wristy bottom hand to midwicket, straight to the fielder

26.5

Dilshan to Taylor, 1 run, slightly too straight from Dilshan, Taylor is able to flick through square leg

26.6

Dilshan to Styris, 1 run, speared in slightly flatter, Styris nudges into the leg side to the right of the midwicket fielder, creating an opportunity for a single

I know it's been said, but there's really a tremendous atmosphere in the stands. Music, singing, dancing, cheering. What a pleasure it must be to play cricket in front of spectators like this

End of over 27 (7 runs) New Zealand 109/3 (RR: 4.03)
SB Styris    13* (17b 2x4)      TM Dilshan    2-0-10-0
LRPL Taylor    20* (25b 1x4)      SL Malinga    4-0-24-1

Malinga's spell comes to an end, and he's replaced by Herath. Malinga has also left the field, not sure why.

27.1

Herath to Styris, no run, huge shout first ball as Styris, who is in a cap now, misses a sweep and is struck on the pad. Hitting outside off though, no review called for

27.2

Herath to Styris, no run, defended to cover

27.3

Herath to Styris, 1 wide, loopy full toss, wide of off, and Styris misses the drive ... that looked like Herath's variation, the one he flicks out that spins the other way - carrom ball

27.3

Herath to Styris, no run, full again, he adjusts his line well and Styris drives back to the bowler

27.4

Herath to Styris, 1 run, driven down to long off

27.5

Herath to Taylor, 1 run, Taylor hangs back and punches, Herath dives but can't stop it and they take one as the ball rolls down to long off

27.6

Herath to Styris, 1 run, nudged just wide of midwicket, they steal another quick single

End of over 28 (4 runs) New Zealand 113/3 (RR: 4.03)
SB Styris    15* (22b 2x4)      HMRKB Herath    6-1-22-1
LRPL Taylor    21* (26b 1x4)      TM Dilshan    2-0-10-0

28.1

Dilshan to Styris, 1 run, worked easily down to long-on

28.2

Dilshan to Taylor, 1 run, drop-and-run as Taylor just places the ball to backward point and they take off

28.3

Dilshan to Styris, no run, flat on off stump, Styris defends

28.4

Dilshan to Styris, 1 run, Styris steps back and pushes to long-on for another single

28.5

Dilshan to Taylor, 1 run, tapped gently into space in the covers, another single

28.6

Dilshan to Styris, 1 run, Styris flicks across the front pad, the ball goes to the left of the short fine leg fielder and they sprint through

These two are doing a great job of working the spinners round for singles, and it's helping to relieve the pressure after Malinga's wicket

End of over 29 (5 runs) New Zealand 118/3 (RR: 4.06)
SB Styris    18* (26b 2x4)      TM Dilshan    3-0-15-0
LRPL Taylor    23* (28b 1x4)      HMRKB Herath    6-1-22-1

Another one-over spell from Herath, and he's replaced by Mendis. Slip is in position

29.1

Mendis to Styris, no run, flat on off stump, whipped straight to the midwicket fielder

29.2

Mendis to Styris, 1 run, breaking in a touch, but too short and Styris is able to ease it down to long-on

29.3

Mendis to Taylor, 1 run, again this one comes in a touch, nudged to the left of the midwicket fielder for one

A short, straight mid-on comes in for the uppish drive, no-one at slip now

29.4

Mendis to Styris, no run, Styris cautiously defends to that very fielder that's just come in

29.5

Mendis to Styris, 2 runs, outside off, Styris watches it carefully and plays it late through gully

29.6

Mendis to Styris, no run, worked defensively into the leg side

End of over 30 (4 runs) New Zealand 122/3 (RR: 4.06)
SB Styris    21* (31b 2x4)      BAW Mendis    6-0-17-0
LRPL Taylor    24* (29b 1x4)      TM Dilshan    3-0-15-0

And now Murali comes back. Fierce determination in his eyes. He'll come round the wicket, with a slip in place

30.1

Muralitharan to Taylor, no run, tossed up high on leg stump, the ball almost lands on Taylor's toe as he flicks to short fine leg

30.2

Muralitharan to Taylor, no run, better length, not quite as full and Taylor taps to the bowler

30.3

Muralitharan to Taylor, no run, this time Taylor tries to work it wider to beat Murali, but midwicket rushes across and dives to stop the single

30.4

Muralitharan to Taylor, 1 run, offspinner, landing outside off and driven carefully to long-off

30.5

Muralitharan to Styris, 1 run, another offspinner, this one breaks quite sharply and Styris flicks to the left of the short fine leg fielder. They sprint through for one

30.6

Muralitharan to Taylor, no run, this one rushes straight on, and is met with a forward defensive

End of over 31 (2 runs) New Zealand 124/3 (RR: 4.00)
LRPL Taylor    25* (34b 1x4)      M Muralitharan    6-1-18-1
SB Styris    22* (32b 2x4)      BAW Mendis    6-0-17-0

These two have run really well in their partnership so far, and have put on 40 at four runs an over. There's a short break now as the batsman strap thighpads on - Malinga is coming back on. They obviously wear as little equipment as possible when the spinners are on to try and maintain their strength in the sapping heat. Mid-off is up, long-on out, as are fine leg and third man.

31.1

Malinga to Styris, no run, he starts with a slower ball, an offcutter, and Styris steps forward to drive to cover

31.2

Malinga to Styris, no run, quicker this time, again Styris drives and this time he middles it ... but a diving cover fielder cuts it off. Good effort

31.3

Malinga to Styris, FOUR, bouncer on off stump, but Styris picked it early and pulled in front of square, rolling his wrists to keep the ball down, and reaches the deep midwicket boundary

31.4

Malinga to Styris, no run, good comeback from Malinga, another slower ball and Styris only seemed to pick it at the last moment, laying bat on ball to defend to cover

31.5

Malinga to Styris, 2 runs, good, reversing yorker but it's on a leg stump line and Styris is able to glance it out into the deep ... and they're back for the second

31.6

Malinga to Styris, FOUR, half-volley from Malinga, and Styris meets it with a glorious, flowing cover drive to pick up four more! Second boundary of the over, and New Zealand are fighting back into a good position. That takes the partnership to 50

End of over 32 (10 runs) New Zealand 134/3 (RR: 4.18)
SB Styris    32* (38b 4x4)      SL Malinga    5-0-34-1
LRPL Taylor    25* (34b 1x4)      M Muralitharan    6-1-18-1

32.1

Muralitharan to Taylor, 1 run, dropped close in on the leg side, short fine leg runs in but he can't stop the single

32.2

Muralitharan to Styris, no run, Murali stays round the wicket, tossing one up outside off. Styris defends

32.3

Muralitharan to Styris, 1 leg bye, a sharply spinning offbreak clips the pad and rolls to fine leg

32.4

Muralitharan to Taylor, no run, Taylor tries to nudge to fine leg, but the fielder rushes across to cut it off

32.5

Muralitharan to Taylor, no run, quicker, flatter, and Taylor defends

32.6

Muralitharan to Taylor, 1 run, flatter again, chopped down behind gully for one

And that takes us to the second drinks break. Sahil will be back on duty when we come back.

End of over 33 (3 runs) New Zealand 137/3 (RR: 4.15)
LRPL Taylor    27* (38b 1x4)      M Muralitharan    7-1-20-1
SB Styris    32* (40b 4x4)      SL Malinga    5-0-34-1

Indeed I will, thanks Liam. New Zealand are in the middle of a decent period here. Problem is England tried the just-stay-in-the-game approach and got caned. 260 is a must. Here's Malinga for the last over before the ball change.

33.1

Malinga to Taylor, no run, full and straight and lurking swing back into the batsman who digs it out

Yikes, the groundstaff are making menacing movements. Looks like they are preparing for a spot of rain... hmm.

33.2

Malinga to Taylor, no run, full and swinging in again, you know what's coming, just the playing it bit that's harder

33.3

Malinga to Taylor, 1 run, slower ball almost gets the better of Taylor, who adjusts late but not enough to prevent a slight leading edge that squirts to cover

33.4

Malinga to Styris, no run, Styris grits his teeth and jabs out another searing yorker towards cover

33.5

Malinga to Styris, 1 run, just two deliveries left before the ball changes and the swing goes away. Styris calmly blocks to long-on

33.6

Malinga to Taylor, no run, sturdy defence to finish. Could be Malinga's spell I reckon

End of over 34 (2 runs) New Zealand 139/3 (RR: 4.08)
LRPL Taylor    28* (42b 1x4)      SL Malinga    6-0-36-1
SB Styris    33* (42b 4x4)      M Muralitharan    7-1-20-1

Here's a gem for you: Scott Styris, that grizzled old veteran, went past Martin Crowe to become the second highest run getter in World Cups for New Zealand. His aggregate is second to Stephen Fleming's tally of 1075 runs. Styris has also been very successful in World Cup chases. Among New Zealand batsmen with over 300 runs in chases, his average of 77.28 is the best. Courtesy of champion cricinfo statistician Madhusudhan.

34.1

Herath to Styris, 1 run, Herath tosses this up around off stump, that man Styris pushes towards cover

34.2

Herath to Taylor, no run, Taylor is very calm so far in defence

Still some nervous twitches from the groundstaff but no rain as yet.

34.3

Herath to Taylor, no run, Herath's line is good, the length isn't bad either and Taylor so far is playing him from the crease

34.4

Herath to Taylor, 1 run, a single pushed down the ground brings Styris back on strike

34.5

Herath to Styris, 1 run, full-faced punch down the ground. Just a single again

34.6

Herath to Taylor, no run, careful and uneasy defence from Taylor. He hasn't looked fluent yet

End of over 35 (3 runs) New Zealand 142/3 (RR: 4.05)
LRPL Taylor    29* (46b 1x4)      HMRKB Herath    7-1-25-1
SB Styris    35* (44b 4x4)      SL Malinga    6-0-36-1

Mendis is back for Malinga. Twirling the ball in his fingers.

35.1

Mendis to Styris, no run, starts with a finger-spun leggie, touch short, Styris hangs back to cut but it slides past the edge

35.2

Mendis to Styris, FOUR, ah lovely shot, couple of steps down the track, meets it on the half-volley and crashes it down the ground for four

35.3

Mendis to Styris, 1 run, boundary is followed up by a open-faced steer

35.4

Mendis to Taylor, no run, more careful defence from Taylor

35.5

Mendis to Taylor, 1 run, this is held back a fraction and a neat flick of the wrists sends it around the corner

35.6

Mendis to Styris, 1 run, good over for New Zealand ends with a clip down the ground. Styris has such a grizzly look in his eye. Rightly so, he seems well up for it

End of over 36 (7 runs) New Zealand 149/3 (RR: 4.13)
SB Styris    41* (48b 5x4)      BAW Mendis    7-0-24-0
LRPL Taylor    30* (48b 1x4)      HMRKB Herath    7-1-25-1

Dilshan replaced Herath. Somewhere, Strauss gets an inexplicable cold shiver.

36.1

Dilshan to Styris, 1 run, no problems for Styris, who hops down the wicket and pushes a milked single to long-on

36.2

Dilshan to Taylor, no run, smart diving work from Dilshan off his own bowling saves the single

36.3

Dilshan to Taylor, 1 run, this time Taylor beats the bowler by pushing wide of him and jogging through

36.4

Dilshan to Styris, 1 run, classic middle-over batting as Styris stands tall to punch a single to long-on

36.5

Dilshan to Taylor, 1 run, Taylor tries to steer a delicate cut behind point but instead finds the man. Manages to scoot through for a single anyway

36.6

Dilshan to Styris, no run, Styris fails to beat the bowler so Dilshan's two dot balls makes it a good over for Sri Lanka

End of over 37 (4 runs) New Zealand 153/3 (RR: 4.13)
SB Styris    43* (51b 5x4)      TM Dilshan    4-0-19-0
LRPL Taylor    32* (51b 1x4)      BAW Mendis    7-0-24-0

37.1

Mendis to Taylor, no run, Taylor is completely stuck against Mendis. No risk cricket and not much reward either

37.2

Mendis to Taylor, 3 runs, the bowler loses his line and a good shot from Taylor here, crouching low to tickle a sweep shot around the corner. Deserved four but a full-length sliding stop by Matthews on the boundary prevents it

37.3

Mendis to Styris, no run, plenty of air from Mendis and it creeps off the pitch. Styris had his bat in line for a long time before it hit

37.4

Mendis to Styris, no run, again Styris is very careful in defence

37.5

Mendis to Styris, 2 runs, useful for New Zealand here, too short and Styris chops behind point for a couple more

37.6

Mendis to Styris, 1 run, confident, full-face drive ends a decent over for New Zealand

End of over 38 (6 runs) New Zealand 159/3 (RR: 4.18)
SB Styris    46* (55b 5x4)      BAW Mendis    8-0-30-0
LRPL Taylor    35* (53b 1x4)      TM Dilshan    4-0-19-0

Balaji: "Kane Willamson's talent is being wasted. One should have seen the comfort with which he negotiated the spinners during the tests / ODIs in Inndia. He should bat at No4 with Taylor at No3 and McCullum / Ryder opening the innings. Guptill can come it at No6." Change of bowling, Herath again.

38.1

Herath to Styris, no run, crashing drive finds a diving Dilshan, who creates all kinds of excitement by taking a crowd catch

38.2

Herath to Styris, 1 run, this time the drive is wider and heads out to deep cover

Hardik has another interesting Styris stat for us: "Styris' both highest scores (141 and 111) came against Sri Lanka in WC matches for 2003 and 2007 WCs respectively. In both cases his efforts got in vain as Sri Lanka won both matches. Same thing gonna happen here?"

38.3

Herath to Taylor, 1 run, driven out to deep extra this time

38.4

Herath to Styris, no run, Dilshan fields oddly this time, parrying an awkward bounce at mid-off. On second viewing that's actually a great piece of fielding because the ball hit a divot and leapt

38.5

Herath to Styris, no run, pressure pinning onto New Zealand again now as Styris defends

38.6

Herath to Styris, no run, again Dilshan is in the action, fielding smartly to save a single. The next over needs to be a good one for New Zealand or something will give

Further to that, Styris' two hundreds against Sri Lanka are the most by a New Zealand batsman. Ross Taylor, Peter Fulton and Matthew Sinclair are the others to score centuries in ODIs against Sri Lanka since 2000.

End of over 39 (2 runs) New Zealand 161/3 (RR: 4.12)
SB Styris    47* (60b 5x4)      HMRKB Herath    8-1-27-1
LRPL Taylor    36* (54b 1x4)      BAW Mendis    8-0-30-0

39.1

Mendis to Taylor, OUT, Taylor's struggle ends. You felt something was coming. In the end it's a poor delivery, dragged short that Taylor pulled straight down the throat of deep midwicket. Normally you'd back Taylor to clear that boundary but he's not quite found his range today

LRPL Taylor c Tharanga b Mendis 36 (90m 55b 1x4 0x6) SR: 65.45

Big loss for New Zealand, they need an injection of pace and Taylor had it in him to do that. As it is, here's Kane Williamson.

39.2

Mendis to Williamson, no run, very straight-batted and correct defence as Mendis again locates an ideal line

39.3

Mendis to Williamson, 1 run, little bit short from Mendis, the line is still good though. Williamson stands up on his toes and pushes down to long-on to get off the mark

Srijith: "I was just about to type : "Time for the powerplay..and the Ross show". Guess I dont have to!"

39.4

Mendis to Styris, 1 run, pushed away carefully into space

39.5

Mendis to Williamson, 1 run, pitch is certainly slowing down but New Zealand need more than the 230 they are heading for. Williamson flips a single around the corner

39.6

Mendis to Styris, 1 run, quicker and flatter to end the over. Steered wide of point to swap the strike

End of over 40 (4 runs) New Zealand 165/4 (RR: 4.12)
SB Styris    49* (62b 5x4)      BAW Mendis    9-0-34-1
KS Williamson    2* (3b)      HMRKB Herath    8-1-27-1

PJ: "@Balaji: Williamson's career strike rate in ODIs is 66. He has lost us more games than he has won by taking a lot of deliveries to get few runs. He is very handy in tests but he has some work to do before he could displace any of our current top 5."

40.1

Herath to Styris, no run, 10 overs to go and Styris begins the charge by defending back to the bowler

40.2

Herath to Styris, 1 run, this time the delicate drive is wide of the bowler and Styris collects a very well-complied 50

40.3

Herath to Williamson, 1 run, Williamson pops this into the off side and steals a tight single that has Styris sprawling over the line, flat on his face and covered in dirt

Cameron: "In response to Balaji, I think Kane Williamson is in the right spot for now and will, in time progress up the order. Guptil has been one of our most consistant performers in the last year and brings a calmness that eludes the likes of Ryder, Taylor and McCullum. Williamson is still young and needs to be nutured down the order before progressing up to 3 or 4."

40.4

Herath to Styris, 1 run, pushed down the ground firmly

40.5

Herath to Williamson, 1 run, Williamson finds some space to squeeze a cut behind point

40.6

Herath to Styris, no run, careful defence to end the over. These two can probably 'just bat', as the cliché goes, for another three or four overs before beginning the charge. That said, swatting Malinga for many at the death is not straightforward

End of over 41 (4 runs) New Zealand 169/4 (RR: 4.12)
SB Styris    51* (66b 5x4)      HMRKB Herath    9-1-31-1
KS Williamson    4* (5b)      BAW Mendis    9-0-34-1

Archer: "@PJ:Kane is Able." Right. No more prodding. The charge is officially underway. Here is the batting Powerplay. Here's Malinga...

41.1

Malinga to Williamson, no run, starts full, too full, straight though and Williamson's drive is rather pitiful. No power, no timing, no runs

41.2

Malinga to Williamson, 1 run, absolute suicide from Williamson. Well, not absolute because he's got the run. Terrible mix-up though. Williamson pushed a limp drive straight to Jayawardene at mid-off but the shy was wide of the stumps and Malinga wasn't even near the stumps to take the bails off

Powerplay already causing havoc for the batting side!

41.3

Malinga to Styris, 1 run, quietly turned into the leg side for a more secure single

Abhay: "@PJ: How can you blame Williamson for his low strike rate, when he has played only 13 matches and dont you know the last 4-5 series that NZ played. Every time he came to bat, it was bad condition." "Williamson is coming to England as Gloucestershire's overseas player this summer," writes Mark, "and John Bracewell will be batting him at 3. So we will see how that suits him."

41.4

Malinga to Williamson, FOUR, how about that!? Where did it come from? Gloucester fans will be cheered. Williamson picked it up from a length and clipped it over midwicket for four!

41.5

Malinga to Williamson, (no ball) 3 runs, waist-high full-toss, Williamson backed away and somehow managed to spoon it over cover and speed off for runs. It's actually waist-high, according to the umpire, and a no ball!

41.5

Malinga to Styris, no run, better delivery here, full and straight and carefully defended

Anushan: "NZ would ideally want to be on 200 at the 45th over mark, leaving 5 overs to try and get 10 an over to reach 250. "try" being the key word."

41.6

Malinga to Styris, 1 run, so a good over for New Zealand in the end, Williamson backs away and pushes a drive to cover

End of over 42 (11 runs) New Zealand 180/4 (RR: 4.28)
SB Styris    53* (69b 5x4)      SL Malinga    7-0-47-1
KS Williamson    12* (9b 1x4)      HMRKB Herath    9-1-31-1

42.1

Muralitharan to Styris, 1 run, Murali begins his new spell by floating up a full ball that is carefully pushed for a single down the ground

42.2

Muralitharan to Williamson, no run, this is flatter and spins sharply enough to make Williamson uncomfortable in defence

42.3

Muralitharan to Williamson, FOUR, wonderful shot! Shot of the day I reckon! Williamson dances down the track and gives himself room to unfurl a very controlled, chip-drive over mid-off and it speeds away for four

This is turning into a little gem from Williamson. Meanwhile, Matthews is receiving some treatment on the boundary rope for a thigh strain by the looks of things.

42.4

Muralitharan to Williamson, FOUR, four more! Too short, really sat up and Williamson hopped back and chopped a cut shot firmly behind point

42.5

Muralitharan to Williamson, no run, this time it's flipped to leg but straight to the man

42.6

Muralitharan to Williamson, 1 run, this spins back a long way but Williamson was quick enough on his feet to get outside the line and give himself room to squeeze a back-foot drive

Balaji retorts: "@PJ and Cameron, points taken. But did you see how well Willamson played SA'spinners in the QF when compared to how "limp" Taylor was during the middle overs today. Thats a crucial passage of play, missed by NZ."

End of over 43 (10 runs) New Zealand 190/4 (RR: 4.41)
KS Williamson    21* (14b 3x4)      M Muralitharan    8-1-30-1
SB Styris    54* (70b 5x4)      SL Malinga    7-0-47-1

Mark: "... and Murali will be his team-mate with Gloucestershire for the 20-20s, so at the moment is Glos v Glos in Colombo..." Matthews is in real trouble, he pulled up when chasing Williamson's chip drive and he's off the field now.

43.1

Malinga to Williamson, 1 run, brilliant stop from Jayawardene at mid-off saves a boundary. It was a quality shot from Williamson driving hard but somehow it was stopped with a full-length dive

43.2

Malinga to Styris, 1 run, clipped into the midwicket region this time

43.3

Malinga to Williamson, OUT, Malinga works the magic again! Full, swinging in and struck bang in front! The sort of lbw you would walk from. Absolutely plumb. Very good little innings that and now the power hitters can come in.

KS Williamson lbw b Malinga 22 (23m 16b 3x4 0x6) SR: 137.50

Here's Nathan McCullum. Very, very strong man but how he plans to get hold of Malinga is beyond me.

43.4

Malinga to NL McCullum, no run, very full, low full-toss in fact, swinging in again and McCullum can only defend

43.5

Malinga to NL McCullum, no run, nowhere for McCullum to go. Inch-perfect yorker jabbed to cover

43.6

Malinga to NL McCullum, no run, excellent slower ball to finish a brilliant death over. Really such high class and punctures the atmosphere New Zealand were creating for themselves

End of over 44 (2 runs) New Zealand 192/5 (RR: 4.36)
NL McCullum    0* (3b)      SL Malinga    8-0-49-2
SB Styris    55* (71b 5x4)      M Muralitharan    8-1-30-1

44.1

Muralitharan to Styris, 3 leg byes, Murali is struggling a bit here, spins the down the leg side it flicks a pad and runs away towards the fine leg rope. Valuable runs and now McCullum gets another go to find his range

44.2

Muralitharan to NL McCullum, no run, this finds the pads again, but straighter as McCullum defends

44.3

Muralitharan to NL McCullum, 2 runs, very neatly done, soft hands prods into the leg side and McCullum hares off for two. He's not tried anything expansive yet

44.4

Muralitharan to NL McCullum, no run, more very cagey defence

44.5

Muralitharan to NL McCullum, SIX, top shot! Brilliant strength, McCullum skips down, opens his body and with flick of the wrists pings it over mid-on and it keeps travelling, all the way for six!

44.6

Muralitharan to NL McCullum, 1 run, boundary followed by a tickle for a single. Murali has gone for 22 from 2 Powerplay overs here

End of over 45 (12 runs) New Zealand 204/5 (RR: 4.53)
NL McCullum    9* (8b 1x6)      M Muralitharan    9-1-39-1
SB Styris    55* (72b 5x4)      SL Malinga    8-0-49-2

45.1

Malinga to NL McCullum, OUT, Malinga is such a demon at the end of an innings. Brilliant variations! McCullum stepped down looking to heave to leg, slight slower ball meant he was through the shot too early and found a faint top edge

NL McCullum c †Sangakkara b Malinga 9 (9m 9b 0x4 1x6) SR: 100.00

Big Jacob Oram is the new man. No longer the hitter of old but he somehow he needs to rekindle something of his old prowess.

45.2

Malinga to Oram, no run, swinging low full-toss to greet the new batsman. Oram opens the face to steer behind square but picks out point

45.3

Malinga to Oram, 1 run, full toss again, clipped straight to midwicket, Oram makes a tight single easy by virtue of his enormous strides

45.4

Malinga to Styris, 1 run, slower ball that Styris slugs down the ground. He's hardly had any strike of late

45.5

Malinga to Oram, FOUR, not quite the big heave to the boundary but an outside edge will do! Full and a half-open-face half-edge scoots off to the third man boundary

45.6

Malinga to Oram, no run, excellent slower yorker to finish that Oram carefully digs out back to the bowler

End of over 46 (6 runs) New Zealand 210/6 (RR: 4.56)
JDP Oram    5* (4b 1x4)      SL Malinga    9-0-55-3
SB Styris    56* (73b 5x4)      M Muralitharan    9-1-39-1

Murali to continue, his last over in Sri Lanka.

46.1

Muralitharan to Styris, 1 run, starts with a very short ball that Styris steers to third man

46.2

Muralitharan to Oram, no run, Oram gets forward very respectfully in defence

46.3

Muralitharan to Oram, 1 run, slightly cumbersome sweep around the corner earns a tight single

46.4

Muralitharan to Styris, 1 wide, this spins from leg too far down the leg side

46.4

Muralitharan to Styris, no run, Styris nudges this to leg. He's not going to go too early here

46.5

Muralitharan to Styris, no run, again it's nudged to leg, Oram hares halfway up the crease before heading back

46.6

Muralitharan to Styris, OUT, on his last delivery in Sri Lanka Murali strikes! Key wicket as well! Styris gets deep into his crease to work to leg, missed it and was trapped in front. Styris reviews but it's clipping leg stump. What a wonderful, who-writes-your-scripts? exit from his home stage! Massive cheer from the crowd as the decision is finally confirmed!

SB Styris lbw b Muralitharan 57 (119m 77b 5x4 0x6) SR: 74.02

End of over 47 (3 runs) New Zealand 213/7 (RR: 4.53)
     M Muralitharan    10-1-42-2
JDP Oram    6* (6b 1x4)      SL Malinga    9-0-55-3

Daniel Vettori is the new man.

47.1

Dilshan to Oram, 1 run, this is pushed away carefully, New Zealand desperately in need of a crescendo

47.2

Dilshan to Vettori, 1 run, Vettori gets low and sweeps awkwardly for a tight single

47.3

Dilshan to Oram, no run, Oram picks out point with firm cut shot. The net is closing around Oram

Vishal Jalan: "On the who-writes-your-scripts question wait for the final when Sachin scores his 100th century in Mumbai to lift world cup for India in his last ever ODI."

47.4

Dilshan to Oram, OUT, gone this time! Oram had to try something, ended up heaving high towards long-on who jogged in a few yards off the rope, steadied himself and held the chance. New Zealand's chances of posting something competitive are sliding away

JDP Oram c Jayawardene b Dilshan 7 (14m 9b 1x4 0x6) SR: 77.77

47.5

Dilshan to Vettori, 1 run, Vettori works to the leg side to bring Southee, who really can hit a long ball, onto strike. Trouble is New Zealand are in danger of being bowled out

47.6

Dilshan to Southee, no run, what an excellent over from Dilshan, just three runs and a wicket. 12 balls to go...

End of over 48 (3 runs) New Zealand 216/8 (RR: 4.50)
TG Southee    0* (1b)      TM Dilshan    5-0-22-1
DL Vettori    2* (2b)      M Muralitharan    10-1-42-2

48.1

Mendis to Vettori, 1 run, Vettori again on an awkward sweep, bounced a touch more than he expected and ended up shovelling towards midwicket

48.2

Mendis to Southee, no run, big spin this away from the bat, Southee looks curiously at it and can only poke to cover

48.3

Mendis to Southee, OUT, Southee gone now, things sliding away in a hurry. Spun away again and Southee was very tentative, prodding at the ball, faint outside edge and Sangakkara does the rest

TG Southee c †Sangakkara b Mendis 0 (3m 3b 0x4 0x6) SR: 0.00

Six wickets have fallen for 25 now. McKay is the last man.

48.4

Mendis to McKay, no run, goodness, by the looks of things McKay is no No. 12. Gropes aimlessly at this as it sneaks past the edge

48.5

Mendis to McKay, OUT, all over in a heap for New Zealand. Innings end with a four for four collapse as McKay prods hopelessly and misses. Murali waves his cap to the crowds as he leads Sri Lanka off, they'll hope not to see him later!

AJ McKay b Mendis 0 (1m 2b 0x4 0x6) SR: 0.00

221 wasn't enough for England the other night 217 has to be enough for New Zealand. The scorecard tells its own story with all the top six getting starts but nobody making the telling contribution. Difficult to imagine them spooking Sri Lanka like they did South Africa. Andrew Miller will have more in his bulletin. We're approaching 350k fans on our Facebook page, during the break why not go and join them. Liam will be back here in about 25mins to guide you through the first part of Sri Lanka's chase.

Match Coverage

Photos

Mar 29, 2011

Thilan Samaraweera and Mahela Jayawardene are ecstatic after the victory, Sri Lanka v New Zealand, 1st semi-final, World Cup 2011, Colombo, March 29, 2011

Thilan Samaraweera and Mahela Jayawardene are ecstatic after the victory

© AFP

Mar 29, 2011

Muttiah Muralitharan waves to an adoring Colombo crowd, Sri Lanka v New Zealand, 1st semi-final, World Cup 2011, Colombo, March 29, 2011

Muttiah Muralitharan waves to an adoring Colombo crowd

© Associated Press

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