Colombo, March 29: New Zealand were moving along at under 4 runs an over at the half-way stage in their innings against Sri Lanka, having reached just 93/3 in the semi-finals of the World Cup 2011 at Colombo. Some sharp bowling from Lasith Malinga, Muttiah Muralitharan and Rangana Herath pegged by the Kiwis from early on, but Ross Taylor and Scott Styris were trying to find a footing (scorecard).
The New Zealand innings got off to a positive start with Martin Guptill pulling away Lasith Malinga for a four in the first over. Then Brendon McCullum did the same to slow-left-armer Rangana Herath in the second after which Guptill flicked Angelo Mathews fine for another boundary.Then in the fifth over, McCullum carted Herath for a huge six before running a double as the visitors moved onto 29/0 in 6 overs.
But in the next over, Herath bowled McCullum for 13 and New Zealand were 31/1 in 7.1 overs. With Jesse Ryder the new man at the crease, the run-rate slowed down a tad. In the 12th over, Ryder struck a four and then took a single off Mendis to bring up the Kiwi 50.
Then in the 19th over, Muralitharan had Ryder caught behind for 19, as NZ slipped to 69/2. Malinga then rattled Guptill's stumps with a yorker. The batsman was on his way for 39 and New Zealand had slipped to 84/3 in 21.3 overs. The Kiwi innings was progressing slowly, reaching 93/3 nin 25 overs.