What Sri Lanka did wrong
1. Lahiru Thirimanne starts sedately, but not slowly. Tillakaratne Dilshan, however, is unable to find gaps and gives a tame return catch to Daniel Vettori. He scored 24 off 41 balls at a below par strike rate of 58.53.
2. Thirimanne falls to Trent Boult after scoring 65 off 60 balls. He looked good for more, but played down the wrong line and saw his stumps rattled.
3. Vettori and Trent Boult wreck the Lankan top order. The islanders are reduced to 129/4 in 23.5 overs. Boult claims Sangakkara after Vettori scalps Mahela Jayawardene for 0.
4. Vettori is 36 and has been playing international cricket since 1997. He still brings it. Great ODI figures for the day: 2/34 off his 10 overs. Lankans ran out of ideas after giving wickets to all frontline Kiwi bowlers.
5. Corey Anderson is the Man of the Match. He follows up the blistering 75 off 46 balls with a 2/18 haul with the ball.
Parting shots: New Zealand have never lost at home after scoring 300 or more. Record stays intact, as the World Cup co-hosts draw first blood. It’s a crushing win, by 98 runs. Lanka dismissed in 46.1 overs.
During the course of his 39, Sangakkara joins the 1000-run club in World Cup. He is the 14th in this list where Sachin Tendulkar sits at the top. Sangakkara also moves past Ricky Ponting to second on the all-time ODI runs-scorer list.
What New Zealand got right
1. Brendon McCullum sends first ball he faces (from Nuwan Kulasekara) to the boundary. Intent, ability and aggression right up front from the skipper.
2. McCullum takes a shine to Malinga, who has gained weight after his ankle surgery in September. The extra baggage is particularly visible around his middle and he is also guilty of overstepping and conceding free hits.
3. Malinga’s inability to summon the yorkers costs Lanka. The ones he usually nails come out as full tosses. He goes for 42 in his first 4 overs. Concedes 84 in his 10 overs. Goes wicketless. He rattled Luke Ronchi’s stumps, but overstepped to give up yet another free hit.
4. Nelson strikes! McCullum falls with the score at 111 in 15.5 overs. The NZ skipper goes after scoring 65 off 49 balls. His knock studded with 10 boundaries and 1 six. Rangana Herath gives Lanka the breakthrough.
5. In walks Kane Williamson and is dropped first ball. It is a difficult catch, but Kumar Sangakkara parries the low chance to ground.
6. Martin Guptill’s calm batting. He falls one short of a half-century. Edges Suranga Lakmal and Sangakkara doesn’t miss this one.
7. Herath and Suranga Lakmal bowl well to pull New Zeland back, but Williamson makes Lanka pay for dropping him on 0.
8. Williamson, already being tipped to become of the greats of New Zealand cricket, falls to Jeevan Mendis, courtesy a great catch by Dimuth Karunaratne. His promising innings ends at 57 off 65 balls. The knock contains 5 boundaries and 1 six.
9. Double strike from legbreak bowler Mendis in the 34th over rattles New Zealand. After accounting for Williamson, he claims Ross Taylor off the next ball. Both fall with NZ score at 193. Drama as Sangakkara claims a catch even as he flicks off the bails after a fumble. Decision goes to the third umpire and Taylor is gone, stumped. Snicko, however, shows a bit of a flutter, indicating Taylor may have nicked it.
10. Since October 2012, New Zealand have scored at a rate of 8.65 in the last 10 overs. They are right at top. Today, they managed.