New Zealand v Sri Lanka: Cricket World Cup 2023 – live | Cricket World Cup 2023
Kusal Perera had a ball after being dropped early on by Latham, but he just couldn’t find a dance partner. As things stand, NZ are heading for the semi-finals – unless the rain wrecks their hopes again.
15th over: Sri Lanka 95-5 (Mathews 13, de Silva 12) Santner gets some turn, finds the edge and has Mathews dropped! By Latham again. He’s having a strange day.
14th over: Sri Lanka 91-5 (Mathews 11, de Silva 10) Ferguson continues, over the wicket this time. When he drops short, de Silva is ready with a cracking cut. It looks as if he’s going to play his shots while Mathews drops anchor.
A stat box sheds some light on NZ’s performances in the Powerplay. In their early wins, they were both incisive and thrifty. In their subsequent run of defeats, they were neither of those things. Today, they managed one of them.
The Sri Lankans have done something no team had done before in 52 years of one-day internationals.
13th over: Sri Lanka 85-5 (Mathews 10, de Silva 5) Boult finally gets a rest as Williamson turns to spin. It’s Mitchell Santner and he’s on the spot right away with his slow left-arm, going for just a single.
“With a bit of weather around,” says Bob O’Hara, “is Sri Lanka’s best hope now to block for another 40 overs without worrying about runs, and hope the rain comes before 20 overs of the New Zealand innings?
“To do this properly, they need to slow the game down. The next time a wicket falls, they need someone who knows how to be ready only after 1min 59sec.” Ha.
12th over: Sri Lanka 84-5 (Mathews 9, de Silva 5) Ferguson goes round the wicket to the right-handed Mathews, allowing him to flip a short ball for four to fine leg. The score predictor on the screen is giving Sri Lanka 209. Given that four of their top five scored 17 between them, that seems a little flattering.
11th over: Sri Lanka 78-5 (Mathews 4, de Silva 4) Boult carries on and Mathews opens his account with a cover-drive for four. It’s his only scoring shot so far from 10 balls, but then time is on his side.
Perera’s whirlwind of an innings came off 28 balls, with nine fours and two sixes. The writing was on the wall, though: he failed to find the boundary for five whole balls after reaching his fifty.
10th over: Sri Lanka 74-5 (Mathews 0, de Silva 4) Dhananjaya de Silva, who would not have expected to be batting in the Powerplay, gets off the mark with a cool-headed pull for four. At this rate, SL could be all out in 20 overs. Can Mathews steady the ship?
The big one! Perera goes aerial again, but skies it and the only question is whether the New Zealanders will all leave it to each other. Mitchell Santner, at deep mid-off, sees the danger and takes the catch. That’s the end of a spectacular innings.
9th over: Sri Lanka 70-4 (Perera 51, Mathews 0) So Boult has 5-0-26-3. His spell has been.
He’s trotting to the middle. Soon, he’ll be doing an ad for Pizza Hut.
Not given on the field, but Willlianson opts to review and he is spot on! Asalanka played outside a fullish ball, angled into him, and what sounded like bat-pad was actually pad-pad. NZ back in charge!
8th over: Sri Lanka 70-3 (Perera 51, Asalanka 8) Kane Williamson had been sticking to his old guns, but now he turns to a younger one, Lockie Ferguson. Perera doesn’t care who’s bowling: he sees some width and drives yet another four to reach a scintillating fifty off just 22 balls, the fastest ever against NZ at a World Cup. Half of those 22 deliveries have gone for at least four.
7th over: Sri Lanka 61-3 (Perera 47, Asalanka 3) Boult manages to keep Perera quiet for two balls – and then the next two go for four. One is a bouncer, which brings a top-edged hook; the other a full toss, eased back past the bowler.
6th over: Sri Lanka 52-3 (Perera 39, Asalanka 2) Southee continues and so does the one-man show from Perera. Another swing over long-on, a chip over extra, a punch past cover, and a whip to midwicket: six, four, four, four! He has faced 17 balls and dispatched eight of them to the boundary – six fours and two sixes.
We knew this might end up as a 20-over match, but it has started like one too.
5th over: Sri Lanka 34-3 (Perera 21, Asalanka 2) So Perera has 21 off 11 balls, while the rest of the top four managed 9 for 3 off 17. And Boult, after that poor second over, has 2 for 17. The first wicket was his 50th in World Cups, a New Zealand record.
Another! And it’s the in-form Samarawickrama. Boult pushes him back with a sharp bouncer, then pitches it up and gets just what he was looking for – a tentative push and a simple catch at slip.
I can say that again … Mendis tries to join in the fun with a swish to leg and only succeeds in getting a leading edge that carries all the way to third man. Well held by Rachin Ravindra, who can do no wrong.
4th over: Sri Lanka 30-1 (Perera 20, Mendis 6) Perera is even tucking into Southee now. He targets long-on and goes four, six – then another four in the opposite direction, past slip. It’s all happening!
3rd over: Sri Lanka 15-1 (Perera 6, Mendis 5) After that let-off, Perera decides to ride his luck. He flashes hard and gets four over gully, then tries to go over extra-cover and mistimes it for a single. After bowling two wides, Boult finds his line and draws an edge from Mendis, but his hands are soft and it runs away for another four.
2nd over: Sri Lanka 3-1 (Perera 1, Mendis 0) That was a fabulous first over from Tim Southee. First ball: nick from Nissanka, not far from slip. Fourth ball: nick from Perera, spilled by Tom Latham behind the stumps. Fifth ball: another nick from Nissanka, atonement for Latham.
A regulation nick … except that there had been one the ball before, from Nissanka, and Latham dropped it!
1st over: Sri Lanka 1-0 (Nissanka 1, Perera 0) Boult is bowling to Pathum Nissanka, who tends to get either 40 or a duck. He’s watchful, wary of the swing back into him, which is definitely there. The only run comes off the edge as Boult angles the last ball across Nissanka and he squirts it into the covers, where Glenn Philips makes a good half-stop.
The anthems have been sung and now the new ball is in the hands of Trent Boult.
A word to anyone who has never emailed us on the OBO. Now would be quite a good time.
Always a mug’s game, but sometimes worth a go… Angelo Mathews will not be timed out today. And neither will anyone else.
Sri Lanka 1 Pathum Nissanka, 2 Kusal Perera, 3 Kusal Mendis (capt, wk), 4 Sadeera Samarawickrama, 5 Charith Asalanka, 6 Angelo Mathews, 7 Dhananjaya de Silva, 8 Chamika Karunaratne, 9 Maheesh Theekshana, 10 Dushmantha Chameera, 11 Dilshan Madushanka.
New Zealand 1 Devon Conway, 2 Rachin Ravindra, 3 Kane Williamson (capt), 4 Daryl Mitchell, 5 Mark Chapman, 6 Glenn Phillips, 7 Tom Latham (wk), 8 Mitchell Santner, 9 Lockie Ferguson, 10 Tim Southee, 11 Trent Boult.
One change on each side. New Zealand leave out their second spinner, Ish Sodhi, and bring in the pace of Lockie Ferguson. Sri Lanka replace one seamer with another as Chamika Karunaratne comes in for Kasun Rajitha, who pays the price for being expensive against Bangladesh.
Kusal Mendis calls heads, it’s tails, and Kane Williamson opts to chase. “Little bit of weather around.”
It’s not raining!
Morning everyone and welcome to the 41st match in this World Cup. It could well have been a dead rubber, but turns out to be live and dangerous for both teams.
New Zealand, who are fourth, need a win to squeeze into the semi-finals after having a tournament of two halves, winning their first four games and losing the last four. They are level on eight points with Pakistan and Afghanistan, but ahead of both on net run-rate. The dubious reward for winning that three-horse race is a meeting with India, who’ve been so dominant that they threaten to ruin their own party. But NZ won’t mind being the underdogs and if any non-Indian has earned a place in the knock-outs, it’s Rachin Ravindra.
Sri Lanka, who are ninth, need a win to secure a place in the 2025 Champions Trophy, which has become the consolation prize in this tournament. They’re in a four-horse race for the last two spots with England (seventh), Bangladesh (eighth) and the Netherlands (tenth), who are all tied on four points. You could put them all together and they still wouldn’t beat India, whose net run rate would blow them out of the water.
The table is almost too neat to be true: one team on 16 points, two on 12, three on eight, and four on four. And it could be messed up today by the weather. The rain, which deprived New Zealand of a probable win against Pakistan. now threatens to obliterate this game.
This would be bad news for both teams, giving them a point apiece and leaving them liable to be leapfrogged. That point might be enough for Sri Lanka, if two of their fellow-strugglers were to fall at the final fence. But it would only be enough for NZ if both their neighbours lost – Pakistan to England and Afghanistan to South Africa.
Enough of these permutations. Weather permitting, the toss will be at 8am GMT, so I’ll be back just after that with some news.