Sri Lanka have virtually booked their spot in the semi-finals with a clinical six-wicket victory against New Zealand at Grenada. Stephen Fleming won the toss and chose to bat but that was perhaps the only thing that went their way against a dominant opponent.
Fleming's stay at the crease lasted only four balls and he was dismissed in identical fashion to his last three ODIs against Sri Lanka - lbw to Chaminda Vaas for a duck. New Zealand lost each of those three matches, and the today turned out to be no different. Fleming has now been dismissed 11 times by Vaas, the most by any bowler in odis. Fleming's one-day average against Sri Lanka is now 19.25 after 32 innings, the lowest against any Test-playing nation.
After New Zealand had been reduced to 4 for 2, Vaas and co didn't let up and kept the run-scoring to the bare minimum. Peter Fulton scored 28 runs off 54 balls and only one of those runs came on the off side, a clear indication that there was hardly any width on offer and if there was, the off side cordon was too difficult to pierce. New Zealand crawled to 18 for 2 after ten overs whereas Sri Lanka had stacked up 66 for 1 at the same stage.
The Sri Lankans choked New Zealand so effectively that they were not able to build any momentum. Scott Styris struck eight fours and Fulton hit four but none of the other seven batsmen were able to find the fence although Jacob Oram and James Franklin hit a six each. Even the centurion, Styris, found the going tough. He hit his sixth four in the 18th over and had to wait until the 49th for his seventh. In fact the only time New Zealand scored a boundary between the 19th and 49th overs was when Oram and Franklin hit sixes in the 38th and 48th overs.
Here are some other statistical highlights from the day's play.
George Binoy is editorial assistant of Cricinfo