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News

Shipley on special homecoming: 'That roar will stick with me for a long time'

He dismissed five of Sri Lanka's top-seven batters to set up a huge victory

Henry Shipley took a five-for in his first ODI at his home ground  •  AFP/Getty Images

Henry Shipley took a five-for in his first ODI at his home ground  •  AFP/Getty Images

In Henry Shipley's first international match at home, his parents and partner in the stands, he lived out something of a dream. He'd only ever taken one five-wicket haul in 42 previous List A matches. But at Eden Park, the crowd in voice for him, he decked Sri Lanka's top order with the new ball and set New Zealand on course for a huge victory.
All up, Shipley took 5 for 31. Those five dismissals were all from Sri Lanka's top seven.
"Being able to play in front of a home crowd and hear that roar when things are going our way is pretty special, and something that will stick with me for a long time," Shipley said. "The noise in the crowd today and seeing the stump go flying was pretty cool."
This was just Shipley's fourth ODI, the previous three having been in India.
"India's a tough place to go, and you don't win too many in the subcontinent, even though you try to win them all," he said. "I guess that confidence from the difficult conditions was something I could try and apply out here."
New Zealand didn't themselves have a particularly stellar batting innings, partly because Sri Lanka kept getting wickets just as partnerships seemed to be bedding in. Partly this was because of the extra bounce on this Eden Park surface, combined with the temptation to target the very small straight boundaries at this venue, which meant that several batters holed out trying to hit short-ish deliveries for straight sixes.
Nevertheless, New Zealand battled to 274.
"The comms came back from the batters pretty early that perhaps it was going to be a little bit difficult to score," Shipley said. "Sometimes when you see the short boundaries you get lured into a big total. I think we did well to get through to where we did. With bowling it was just about creating some pressure up top and doing our best to contain them. After three or four overs that started to work."

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