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Martin Guptill’s Blitz in 2nd ODI Makes Sri Lanka’s Poor Show Face Humiliating Defeat against New Zealand

Martin Guptill’s Blitz in 2nd ODI Makes Sri Lanka’s Poor Show Face Humiliating Defeat against New Zealand

December 28
10:17 2015

New Delhi, Monday, December 28 – It was certainly a crucial match for Sri Lanka at Hagley Oval in opposition to New Zealand, who thrashed them in the opening One-Day International that held on the same ground a couple of days ago. Post losing the Game 1 by 7 wickets, it was the chance for visitors to mark a comeback and level the series. But perhaps, the entire team did not take any lesson from recent defeat when they were all out at 188 runs and Kiwis chased the target in 21 overs with 7 wickets in hand.

Sri Lankan cricket fans in the ground, of course not in huge numbers as compared to the home crowd, were expecting a bounce back but they were left disappointed when travelers could only put a total of 117 runs on the scoreboard. More embarrassing for them was certainly to witness great amount of energy poured by New Zealand openers to get the total in speed and finish the game as early as possible. In 2nd contest of 5-match ODI series played today at Hagley Oval, Sri Lanka won the toss and decided to bat first.

Angelo Mathews, the captain of Sri Lanka, must be expecting to have a good start post this but hardly he and others knew what is going to happen in the next few hours. Matt Henry gave his team first breakthrough by dismissing Tillakaratne Dilshan at a score of 7. The batsman hit a four in his innings and that is why his dismissal seemed a big one to fans. Ross Taylor was quick in pouching the ball, letting his camp enjoy the first wicket. Mitchell McClenaghan also contributed from his end by sending Lahiru Thirimanne back to the pavilion when he just opened his account. Losing two wickets in a short span of time certainly put pressure on Sri Lankan side.

Henry in his next over got the wicket of opener Danushka Gunathilaka, who threw his catch to Mitchell Santner while batting at 17 runs that came in  25 balls, including three 4s. hopes starting to surge from Dinesh Chandimal. However, before the wicketkeeper-batsman would have tried accumulating runs by facing deliveries in sheer confidence, he was given legs before wickets in Doug Bracewell’s overs. The 26-year-old cricketer played a knock of 9 runs in 24 balls. Angelo Mathews was anticipated to play a captain’s knock. This was obvious taking into consideration some supern shows from his end in the recent past.

Mitchell McClenaghan delivery was no less than a surprise for him as he failed to read it in a finer way and gave Luke Ronchi a chance to take a catch. He scored 17 runs off 22 balls, including  a couple of boundaries. Half of the Sri Lankan team was back to the dressing room at a score of 56. Milinda Siriwardana was next to lose his wicket the moment McClenaghan was  brought in attack. The total contribution from his end was 12 runs off 14 balls, comprising two boundaries.

Chamara Kapugedera made efforts to bring his team on track and mount up as many as runs possible. He sent the ball towards the fences twice, nonetheless a confusion while running for runs made him a run out victim after Henry Nicholls collected the ball on time to hit the stumps before the batsman was safely in inside the crease. Kapugedera played a knock of 12 runs off 10 balls. Sachithra Senanayake fell short to Matt Henry on a naught and this made Sri Lankan side be sure of not piling up respectable score. Tail-ender batsman Dushmantha Chameera was out by Ish Sodhi at 9 runs (4 x 1) and Nuwan Kulasekara by Matt Henry at 19  runs (4 x 3).  Jeffrey Vandersay was not out at  7 runs .

Most of the Sri Lankan criketers struggled to face the bowling attack of New Zealand thanks to brilliant line and length by the bowlers. Seven extras were bowled and Sri Lanka scored runs at a run rate of 4.27. the team was all out in 27.4 overs. 14 fours were hit from this group but no sixes. Pressure of performing was huge on the guests owing to recent defeat at the hands of Black Caps in 1st 50-50 over match. A team can’t do much when a feeble total is scored by top, middle and lower order batsmen.

And nothing can be done when player like Martin Guptill is in front.  Tom Latham, one of the opening partners, must be in awe of his play. The left-handed batsman got to face just 20 balls as the whole job was getting fulfilled by Guptill, who was not out at 93 runs which came in only 30 balls. The 29-year-old Auckland born cricketer hit nine fours and eight biggies in his knock. Guptill’s blitz ended all possibility of Sri Lanka to even think of having a grip in the competition at any point of time. The young Latham gave him desired support by playing an unbeaten knock of 17 runs off 20 balls, together with two fours. Thanks to awesome play by Guptill, New Zealand attained 118 runs in less than 10 overs. Getting the  target in 8.2 overs wasn’t that easy but this is what cricket is all about.

The stunning onslaught from Guptill wiped out Sri Lanka and made him win the man of the match award, undoubtedly. Sri Lanka have put them in a do-or-die situation. Now, an early finish at Saxon Field on December 31 will be a game over for the visiting squad, which will try to end the year on a winning note and keep their hopes alive in the contest. As of now, the winner of today’s match is going to have some relaxation as they lead the series by 2-0.

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