1st match, Christchurch

New Zealand v Sri Lanka

At Christchurch (Hagley Oval), February 14, 2015. New Zealand won by 98 runs. Toss: Sri Lanka.
As in 1992, New Zealand opened their home World Cup with victory. Back then they had stunned Australia, but this time the result came as no surprise: a display of efficiency and verve ensured they continued their recent dominance over Sri Lanka. After the New Zealanders had been put in on a drizzly, overcast morning, McCullum drove his first delivery through the covers en route to a 35-ball half-century; he and Guptill shared an opening stand of 111 in 16 overs that settled any nerves. Sri Lanka's pace bowling was initially poor, with Malinga - in his first competitive match since September - leaking 42 from four overs. Williamson, who was given a life first ball when Sangakkara failed to hold a tough chance, made 57; and, although Herath and Lakmal helped slow New Zealand's progress, the foundations had been laid. Anderson, dropped on 43 by Mendis, struck a forceful 75 off 46 balls as he and Ronchi closed the innings with 73 in six overs. The start of the chase suggested a close contest as Thirimanne hit a 45-ball fifty, but Vettori bowled delightfully to remove Dilshan - after an opening stand of 67 - and Jayawardene for a duck. And when Sangakkara, after easing along at a run a ball, fell lbw to Boult, Sri Lanka had lost three for five in 12 balls. No one offered Mathews the support he needed to keep the game alive. ANDREW MCGLASHAN
Man of the Match: C. J. Anderson

© John Wisden & Co