Sri Lanka v New Zealand, 2nd ODI, Hambantota November 12, 2013

Latham, Ronchi power incredible NZ chase


New Zealand 203 for 6 (Latham 86, Ronchi 49) beat Sri Lanka 138 for 1 (Sangakkara 71*, Dilshan 55*) by four wickets (D/L method)
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Before this match, 21-year-old Tom Latham had boasted that even this depleted New Zealand side backed themselves to chase tall scores against Sri Lanka. Striking a scintillating career-best 86 off 68 deliveries, Latham proved that threat was not just bluster, as he carried the visitors most of the distance of their 8.6-an-over, rain-shortened chase before an ebullient Nathan McCullum pulled the match from the brink again, plundering the required 20 off the final over to propel New Zealand beyond the target of 198 off the last ball. Along the way, Luke Ronchi hit his best score for New Zealand, making 49 in the belligerent 93-run partnership with Latham that resurrected the innings, after four wickets had fallen early.

The match had earlier been interrupted for five-and-a-half hours by rain and lightning, as Kumar Sangakkara and Tillakaratne Dilshan progressed effortlessly to a 126-run unbroken second-wicket stand. But, despite reaching a fine total, and a brilliant opening burst from Nuwan Kulasekara, Sri Lanka's bowlers could not contend with a wet ball or the battling opposition batsmen.

The chase took two major twists in the final overs, as Angelo Mathews, the Sri Lanka captain, gambled bravely but lost out backing Rangana Herath to hold his nerve. Latham and Ronchi had smote 69 between the 15th and 19th overs and had brought the required figure to a manageable 41 from four overs, sparking Mathews' risky play. His two ace bowlers, Lasith Malinga and Kulasekara, had three overs left to bowl between them, and he called for them immediately, tasting great success at first. Malinga's fourth over - the 20th of the match - cost only four, before Kulasekara removed both Latham and Ronchi in the 21st, seemingly swinging the match definitively in Sri Lanka's favour.

But Mathews did not bank on McCullum hitting out so cleanly. With 24 needed off the last seven balls, he smashed Malinga back over his head to bring the equation to 20 off the last over. When McCullum came on strike against Herath, New Zealand needed 17 off four deliveries. He backed away to hammer the bowler over the deep cover boundary first up, then beat the field with a similar ball, bringing the target to seven runs from two balls. A second back-away six, this time over long off tied the scores, before a battered Herath delivered a knee-high full toss for McCullum to launch over long on off the last ball. At the end of the match, McCullum had walloped 32 from 9.

Earlier, Latham batted with intensity and purpose from the outset, and even early on, there was no doubting his touch. Kulasekara had earned two wickets at the other end with balls that swerved late in the air, then darted in at occasionally unplayable angles, but when he swung it big into Latham in the fourth over, the batsman strode into a commanding cover drive.

New Zealand were short on the belligerence that would truly have seen them set the chase on course during the mandatory five-over Powerplay, but Latham shifted gears - most notably hitting Tillakaratne Dilshan for three consecutive boundaries in the eighth over - and soon found equally full of self-belief in Ronchi.

The pair found boundaries all around the ground during their five-over dash between the 15th and 19th overs, while Mathews continued to change the field, searching desperately for the right hole to plug. Like a bad game of Whac-A-Mole, though, every time he moved a fielder, the batsmen would contrive a stroke in the newly vacant direction. The disadvantage for Sri Lanka's bowlers was double: the wet ball not only slipped from their hands, the field had become much quicker after the break, thanks to the lubricating layer of rain.

Sri Lanka would feel they could have done little better with the bat, given they only lost one wicket in their innings, as Sangakkara and Dilshan reached their second century stand in as many matches. No ODI pair has made more runs together in the last two years, and following this association, their last five partnerships are worth 542 runs.

Dilshan played and missed a few in the opening overs, but New Zealand could do little to trouble either batsman after that. The pair have now become so accustomed to the cadence of the other's batting, that each seems instinctively aware of when to lionise the strike and when to surrender it. The visitors' attack exerted so little pressure in this match however, perhaps those sorts of decisions didn't even need to be made.

Sangakkara proved once again in superior touch, as he aggressed in the 14 balls Sri Lanka were allotted after the rain break, primarily through his new-fangled lap-scoop over short fine leg. He breezed to an unbeaten 71 from 59 by the innings' close as Dilshan hit 55 not out from 72 balls.

Before the series, Sri Lanka's chief selector Sanath Jayasuriya had suggested New Zealand should not have devalued the series by sending a second-string outfit, but both he and the hosts' management will now be concerned with how to salvage respectability in Dambulla, and they will hope that the rains allow a match there.

Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Mohammed on November 14, 2013, 10:30 GMT

    A bad worker always quarrel with his tools........BD dont care about who is saying what. talk with data not tongue. U lost cuz u didnt play well and u win cuz u played well thats it. Be sporty guys.

  • Yasiru on November 14, 2013, 7:53 GMT

    Then about ODI's

    Kohli at present has achieved a great success in this format than tests.Number one in rankings and career best of 869 points.Sanga lies on 3rd place .Kohli has taken nearly 5000 runs upto date and counting.Let him go on this pace and one day he will end up in all time highest run takers.But it is still a 'may'. Lets wait and see .But sanga has already proven the fact and with just 52 runs short of becoming the ONLY 4 th PLAYER in the history of game to reach 12000 runs.He is not stopping and will count in more .Avg of 40's after 13 years of playing and after 356 matches is not a easy task.He is the wicket keeper batsmen to have most runs in all 3 formats over taking Glichrist.Kohli will come close and may go beyond sanga's stats in ODI's but he will never be close to what he has achieved in both formats.Coz Sanga is doing great and have done great in both formats equally .That is why he was rated one of the best all time great batsman in cricket.

  • Yasiru on November 14, 2013, 7:44 GMT

    Sanga Has 34 centuries in just 117 tests and he will definitely stop in between sachin and kallis making him unreachable for many years to come.Double century wise he got 8 double centuries and only lara(9) and Bradmon (12) is in front of him and no one in near future will challenge that too.Sanga was out two times in 190's (Umpire gave him out when he was not out in 192 in australia )and stranded in 199 not out once.If not he will be joining Sir Don Bradmon now.Nevertheless he still has nearly 4 years to achieve many mile stones and set records in tests that no one will be able to catch for a long period of time.Wisdom test player of the awards and the speech of honor offered 2 him in Australia are some evidences of his success as a test player .He has already by stats and by character proven that he is a legend and great ambassador to this game of cricket.Kohli has time to catch up all this but still he is nowhere near this man's achievements.

  • Lasa on November 14, 2013, 2:08 GMT

    The main reason for SL to lose this game is that they picked the wrong team. Tisara Perera should be in the team. Rediculos team selection. SL fans should not worry about all these negative comments from Indian fans. Indian fans should be concern about their bowling attack. 2015 WC will be totally different. You will not get flat tracks & small grounds in Australia.

  • Janaka on November 14, 2013, 1:05 GMT

    @ jalebi_bai: Please kindly read the comment carefully. I was referring to a Sri Lankan guy saying Sri Lankan players should learn from Kohli. It was one of the worst things Sri Lankans ever did, and I have no mindset of accepting it. They should have never done that. It was totally wrong.

  • Srikkanth on November 13, 2013, 20:11 GMT

    Blade-walker, You said this is a sporting ticket...LoL... In so called "sporting wicket", its so pity that your bowlers can't even defend 200 on 23 overs! Then imagine their plight on other wickets.. Grow up buddy...Good team should always accept the defeat gracefully...

  • Dummy4 on November 13, 2013, 19:35 GMT

    @Chilaw_boy: in a 23 overs game, no bowler can bowl 6 overs.. maximum 3 bowlers can bowl 5 overs and 2 bowlers can bowl 4 overs...cant blame mathews for that!!!

  • Harmon on November 13, 2013, 18:45 GMT


    You are not even able to see the main point here and are trying to hide behind your lack of knowledge of this game.

    #1: Most teams will feel comfortable if asked to chase 176 in 26 overs.

    #2: On the other hand, 198 in 23 overs in by no means an 'easy' target whether on its own or when compared to 320 in 50 overs. If you say chasing 198 was an easy task for NZ then you don't know the ABC of cricket.

    SL couldn't handle the pressure of the much easier #1 while NZ managed to handle a tougher #2.

    If your excuse is that SL were asked to chase 176 on a tougher wicket then it means that even for simpler run chases SL need FLAT TRACKS to win else they can't.

    On the other hand, India chased 321 in 37 overs vs SL in Hobart & India also chased 344 vs SL in Eng after recovering from a very poor start. NZ too recovered from a poor start to win.

    I agree that other teams go through similar periods & SL too are going through such a period. Sadly, it is gonna be an eon from now on.

  • Dummy4 on November 13, 2013, 18:31 GMT

    @harmony 111 @lanka fans hates kohli specially that isn't due to his arrogant behaviour they hates because :p do u know what i mean beause he lonely thrashed them check who is king in making flat decks colomo ,GALLE so they cant win also flat decks so they are flat track mediocre and plz tel your sanga, dilll ,mahela( legends greater then bradman ,sachin ,richards, lara, ponting, dravid) plz win something atleast when they retired you and they can say atleast we have won something :p

  • Dummy4 on November 13, 2013, 18:25 GMT

    Respect to both teams, but why do you guys repeatedly drag BD into all this ? And since a lot of you from SL are bashing BD, if I remember correctly, last time SL, BD met, BD beat SL + India and went to the finals of the Asia Cup. BD also won the last ODI series vs WI as well. So it wasn't just the last ODI series that BD won (vs NZ). Our team has been doing a lot more and it's under rated ... so please save the insults and manner up. The reason why SL lost was because NZ played better cricket - pure and simple - save the lectures on which team is better or not after the series has finished. At the time when SL won the world cup this team was my favorite at one point, it's pathetic to see such comments from it's fans.