Sri Lanka crushed New Zealand in their last Group A match by 112 runs to occupy the top position in the table. Chasing a competitive total of 265, New Zealand bowled out for 132 here at Wankhend stadium in Mumbai. Muttiah Muralidharan took four wickets as Sri Lanka trounced New Zealand on Friday.
Chasing a victory target of 266, New Zealand was bowled out for 153 in 35 overs. Ross Taylor was the top scorer with 33 runs. Muralidharan was the pick of the bowlers taking four for 25. Ajantha Mendis took two wickets.
Skipper Kumar Sangakkara scored a century to help Sri Lanka recover from the early loss of both openers and reach 265-9. Sangakkara scored a breezy 111 to put on 145 for the third wicket along with Mahela Jayawardene who made quick fire 66 after Tillakaratne Dilshan and Upal Tharanga departed leaving Sri Lanka reeling at 19-2. Sangakkara eventually played on to Nathan McCullum in the 42nd over after hitting 12 fours and two sixes for his first World Cup hundred.
New Zealand rued a contentious decision in the 24th over when Nathan McCullum appeared to take a wonderful diving catch to dismiss Jayawardene — only for third umpire Amiesh Saheba to decide that replays did not prove conclusively that the catch was taken cleanly.
Sri Lanka will finish second in Group A behind the winner of Saturday’s match between defending champion Australia and Pakistan. New Zealand, which also lost to Australia earlier in the group stage, can finish no better than third.
With the Group B final standings still far from clear, both sides will have to wait to find out their quarterfinal opponents. Regardless of the opposition, Sri Lanka should head into the knockout stage with plenty of confidence after a convincing win.
Highlight of the match is that Sri Lanka skipper joins the elite 13-member club to score 9000 ODI runs.