New Zealand v Sri Lanka, 1st ODI, Christchurch January 11, 2015

New Zealand battle past Jayawardene ton


New Zealand 219 for 7 (Anderson 81, McCullum 51, Dilshan 2-28) beat Sri Lanka 218 for 9 (Jayawardene 104, McClenaghan 4-36) by three wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Mahela Jayawardene was at his calculating best, but his 107-ball 104 was in vain © Getty Images

Sri Lanka discovered that at Hagley Oval what goes for New Zealand's Test team goes for their ODI outfit as well: the hosts' seamers are deadly dangerous in the early overs, and while the New Zealand top order is daunting, their lower-middle order can turn matches on their own too.

Brendon McCullum's fast bowlers made Sri Lanka regret choosing to bat on a pitch sporting grass, reducing the visitors to 82 for 4 in the 23rd over. Mahela Jayawardene held the bones of a lethargic batting effort together with his masterful 104 off 107 balls, but a total of 218 always seemed at least 30 runs too light.

Then, although Sri Lanka had New Zealand by the collar when the chase slipped to 101 for 5, Corey Anderson showed he had composure to go with his cow-corner clubs. He composed a steady 81 off 96 balls, enlisting the help of Luke Ronchi and Nathan McCullum to take his side to within 10 runs of victory. Anderson's dismissal made for some late jitters, but the hosts got home with seven overs and three wickets unused to take a 1-0 lead in the series.

While New Zealand lost four top-order wickets for 38 runs, at no stage were they under pressure to score quickly - partly because Sri Lanka had made so few, but also thanks to McCullum's 22-ball 51 to kick off the chase. He smote three sixes and six fours in his in all, targeting the square boundaries in particular.

McCullum was also fond of launching the offspin of Sachithra Senanayaka down the ground and equalled his and Ross Taylor's record for fastest New Zealand fifty, when he deposited Senanayake high over long-on off the 19th ball he faced.

McCullum, though, fell on his sword in the same over as Senanayake continued to flight the ball, made it dip and turn sharply to have the New Zealand captain stumped. Tom Latham and Kane Williamson were undone by spin too, and Grant Elliott was bowled by a Nuwan Kulasekara indipper, but Anderson worked his way steadily into the innings.

Playing out plenty of dot balls before attempting to even begin collecting the singles, he slammed Kulasekara through cover to collect his first boundary off his 17th ball. He remained choosy with the expansive strokes and the heave across the line that sent Thisara Perera to the boundary, or the mighty pull off Shaminda Eranga that deposited the ball into the crowd were in contrast to the risk-free innings Anderson strove to play.

Anderson added 48 runs for the sixth wicket with Ronchi and an additional 60 more with Nathan McCullum. Neither of his sidekicks looked comfortable at the crease, but they did enough to support a largely-secure Anderson. Nathan McCullum remained unbeaten on 25, hitting the winning run with Adam Milne at the other end.

It was fitting that Milne was at the crease to see the match won, because it had been he who cut the Sri Lanka top order open in the morning. He bent the ball in to strike Dimuth Karunaratne's front pad in the fourth over, then dismissed Kumar Sangakkara in the eighth, as his full, seaming delivery collected the outside edge and flew to point. Milne occasionally pipped 150kph on the speed gun, but it was the movement he gleaned off the seam that made him threatening.

Those early gains were not squandered by New Zealand, who were rarely loose with the ball, and kept attacking fields to every batsman throughout the game. Mitchell McClenaghan began a little waywardly, but was quickly hitting the back-of-a-length that Sri Lanka's batsmen found difficult to score off, and he and Nathan McCullum controlled the run rate through the middle overs.

McClenaghan was rewarded for his economy in the 47th over, when he claimed three wickets in four balls. Jeevan Mendis and Jaywardene were both out trying to lift short deliveries over the leg side, and Thisara Perera was snaffled at slip for a golden duck. McClenaghan finished with 4 for 36 from his 10 overs, while Milne claimed 2 for 37.

Jayawardene overcame early-innings inertia with an upper cut over the slips, followed by a breezy drive through the covers off successive McClenaghan deliveries, but then settled into a rhythm of singles and twos into the outfield, while wickets continued to fall at the other end. He didn't hit a boundary between the 19th and 32nd over, but rarely did his strike rate dip below 85. The fours resumed with a ramp over the keeper that took him past fifty, and Jayawardene began to look for the boundary more often as the death overs approached.

Lahiru Thirimanne had been a firm ally, after Angelo Mathews had been run out, but did little for the run rate during his 50-ball 23. Jayawardene, meanwhile, was lofting the quicks over cover and mid-off, as McCullum kept the field in, and it was only his positivity that prevented New Zealand from crowding the bat even further. He completed his 18th ODI ton in the 46th over, but was out shortly after, effectively sinking Sri Lanka's hopes of eclipsing 240.

Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. @andrewffernando

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Ted on January 13, 2015, 20:40 GMT

    Since 2011 WC up to July 2013, in most ODIs that Tharanga appeared as a regular opener, we had match winning solid partnerships & long innings. Tharanga had made THREE 200+ match-wining stands for the 1st wicket & had scored FIVE - 100+ & TEN - 50+ during those 2 years up to his AXING! In most ODIs, he negotiated the new ball seam attacks at least to the point (15 the over) that the initial spells are over. Upul did this quite frequently, without exposing the middle order too early. Since he was dropped in 2013, we saw this happening in almost every match, Kusal was given 34 OdIs since June 2013 & he couldn't last <18 balls in 20 ODIs (almost 60% of his ings) & he scored less than <10 runs in 18 ODIs (more than 52 % of his innings). Sanath is the culprit who created this on-going menacing problem that we see today,at the top, Now Dimuth repeats Kusal! Without UT, SL chances at WC are very slim.!

  • methmal on January 13, 2015, 1:37 GMT

    sri lanka is not in touch at green pitchs. Fealding restrictions are changed.If u have wickets ,u can easily score nearly 150 runs at last 15 overs.also i think mahela is the best man to handle the inning at last 15 overs.there4 we need to keep wickets at early.

  • Dummy4 on January 13, 2015, 1:21 GMT

    mahela played well.but i think sl hasn't good plan at green pitchs.becz they should take minimum 280 as far score.

  • Rizwan1970 on January 13, 2015, 0:18 GMT

    There are too-meany compulsory defensive players in StiLankan top order(Thrimanna, Dimuth), results depriving attacking players like Thisara to have a reasonable opportunity to increase run rate, They can at least do few tweak with present squid by bringing in chandimal and asking to open any one of chandima, Jayawardana or Therimanna with Dilshan. They have done a mistake, In order to compensate there weakness in batting line up they have brought in half spinning all rounder like J.medis insteade of playing a good third fast bowler like Lakmal. The face attack of Lakmal, Eranga, and Kulasakara with support of Sachithra and Thisara will be a verry effective bowling attack.

  • Weeramuni on January 12, 2015, 23:53 GMT

    Kushal Janith need to play again ..,master blaster ..

  • Weeramuni on January 12, 2015, 20:16 GMT

    Pls bring kushal Janith again, give him to one chance or if not use thiri or Upul opening , pls don't put Dimuth

  • kasun on January 12, 2015, 14:37 GMT

    @Rough_FAN we have promising batsman like Thirimanne ,Chandimal ,Mathews they are performing well but not in their suitable places..After retiring of big three guns they will automatically promote up to the order and then surely they will be better players like kohli, williomson, root,,,,,look @ them, all of them are in top order....

  • Chalu on January 12, 2015, 12:12 GMT

    Future of Srilankan batting looks really bleak. All other countries have found new ZEN batting stars Like Indian has Kohli,Rahane,Vijay.. NZ have Ken,Corry,Ronchi.. SA have DCock, Aus have Warner,Smith.. Sadly SL does not have a single young player in that league. Terrible days ahead of Team SL... From an Indian fan

  • Samantha on January 12, 2015, 12:09 GMT

    @KINGOWL : Yes,they did bat first, especially to expose the wobbling opener. Dimuth won a passage to WC on a solitary lottery inning extended at 10 r, despite his other 3 innings that heavily contributed to 2-0 whitewash in Test series. Sanath's logic defying selection policies initially put him on the Test squad, dropping the match winning opener, who was the highest contributor in previous series decider.Tell me a single reason to do such selection, based on nothing (Dimuth's last 9 ins of List A Domestic premier & SL A team Vs WI accumulated just 155 r, from 9 Ings @Av 17.2, no need to tell his ODI & Test tail)? You can leave it to selectors to do selections, if they are doing at least a half-decent job! You need to understand that there are solid reasons why certain people should be out from decision making for the betterment of SL cricket! Didn't we see that recently?

  • Dummy4 on January 12, 2015, 10:36 GMT

    seems like malinga will play the next match or if not from the 3rd odi !! sl xi : 1.Dimuth,2.Dilshan,3.Sangakkara,4.Mahela,5.Chandimal,6.Mathews,7.Perera,8.Kulasekara,9.Senenayake,10.Malinga/ Lakmal, 11.Herath/Prasad

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