Thatscricket - News - Kiwis restrict SL to 220, in with a chance
Published: Wednesday, July 18, 2001, 23:15 [IST]
Bangalore: New Zealand restricted hosts Sri Lanka to 220, bowled out in the 49th over, at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo in the Coca Cola tri-series, involving India as the third team.This tournament, unlike most other triangular series comprises of three competitive sides, and as stressed by all captains, it is going to be hard work all along. So it turned out to be at the end of the first session in the first outing of the tri-series. Having opted to bat, Sri Lanka would have desired 20 odd more runs and although being aware that this is not an easy-paced wicket and runs are not easy to come by, at this stage Sri Lanka will know that the second session will be a tight one. Sri Lanka started out nicely but lost opener Gunawardene in the seventh over to a low hard catch to Vettori in the covers. At that stage, Sri Lanka was going at over five an over at 39 for one. Sri Lankan batsmen soon realised that the wicket was sluggish and stroke making was not as easy.However, credit must be given to the Black Caps who in spite of being sluggish themselves with their extras (no balls and wides), fielded exceptionally well and bowled some tight overs in the middle. Vettori and Harris, in tandem, slowed the run-rate considerably with some tight bowling and chipped away with some crucial wickets to reduce Sri Lanka to 145 for four in the 33rd over. Vettori accounted for Atapattu while Harris scalped Jayawardene and Arnold.Coming back for his second spell, Vettori then accounted for the Sri Lankan skipper when he had him caught at the deep for 80 (108 balls). Jayasuriya's wicket was a prize scalp, as he was beginning to cut lose after having taking his time over assessing the wicket.His wicket at 169 saw New Zealand tighten the leash. Sri Lanka, then, trying to up the rate stumbled upon some fine fielding to lose two more wicket to run outs to be reduced to 187 for seven. They soon lost Vaas yet again to a smart piece of fielding to be reeling at 197 for eight. Although, Perera and Muthiah put up some resistance chipping in with some vital runs the Black Caps dismissed the remaining two wicket without giving much.