/World Cup head to head: New Zealand vs Sri Lanka

World Cup head to head: New Zealand vs Sri Lanka

ICC CRICKET WORLD CUP 2019

Williamson's team will look to notch up their fifth WC win over Sri Lanka

Williamson’s team will look to notch up their fifth WC win over Sri Lanka © Getty

June 9, 1975: Turner leads easy New Zealand win

New Zealand started the match as outright favorites when they faced Sri Lanka in the second match of the 1979 World Cup. They bowled first and Sri Lanka’s top-four got decent starts, their skipper Anura Tennekon struck a fifty but he didn’t get enough support from the other end as none of the other batsmen could convert their start into a substantial score. The medium pace bowling of Warren Stott proved to be more than handy in the middle phase as he picked up the important wickets of Tennekon, Dias and de Silva. And Sri Lanka ended up with 189 on a decent batting wicket at Nottingham.

While chasing, the opening pair of Glenn Turner and John Wright began proceedings in a confident fashion. New Zealand lost Wright when the score was 64. But Howarth replaced Wright at the crease and took New Zealand over the finishing line with utmost ease. Turner finished with 83 and Howarth with 63 and New Zealand chased the total down with more than 12 overs to spare.

June 13, 1983: Hadlee stars in facile victory

Sri Lanka entered that tournament as minnows so New Zealand were favorites when these two teams clashed at Bristol. Sri Lanka batted first and on the back of Ranjan Madugalle’s 60 and Duleep Mendis’ 40, they reached a respectable 206. But that was never going to be enough in decent batting conditions.

New Zealand began their innings in a fine fashion with Glenn Turner scoring a fifty, his 89 run-partnership with John Wright (45) put his team in an extremely strong position. But both departed quickly and that gave New Zealand a mini-scare. However, skipper Geoff Howarth played a captain’s knock, he contributed 76 off just 79 balls and ensured that he stayed till the end to finish off the match. New Zealand chased the total down within 40 overs.

June 18, 1983: de Mel helps Sri lanka exact sweet revenge

Sri Lanka surrendered rather tamely when these two sides met for the first time in the tournament. So, another one-sided affair was anticipated. But Sri Lanka had other ideas at Derby that morning. Their skipper Duleep Mendis won the toss and put New Zealand in. Soon, his bowlers, especially Asthana de Mel vindicated his decision by sending back New Zealand openers with the score on eight. The black caps never really recovered from the early damage, they lost wickets at regular intervals and found themselves in a terrible position at 116/9. But the final-wicket partnership between Snedden and Chatfield added 65 runs and New Zealand put up a half-decent score of 181.

Sri Lanka needed just one good partnership to chase this total down and that happened between Kuruppu (62) and Roy Dias (64), they added 80 runs for the third wicket and at one point, Sri Lanka were cruising at 129/2. But the dismissal of Kuruppu triggered a collapse and Sri Lanka lost their next five wickets very quickly. The match was in balance at 161/7 and at that stage, Guy de Alwis made a priceless contribution of 11 runs. It doesn’t seem big but in the context of the game, it was absolutely massive. His knock ensured Sri Lanka crossed the finishing line and earn a famous victory.

February 25, 1983: Ruthless Rutherford ensures comprehensive win

New Zealand’s confidence was sky-high after they smashed Australia in the opening match of their World Cup campaign. They faced Sri Lanka next at Hamilton and went into that game as clear favorites. The Black Caps bowled first and Sri Lankan opener Roshan Mahanama scored an excellent 80, he was assisted by de Silva (31), but seven Sri Lankan batsmen ended up with a single-digit-score and that meant Sri Lanka only managed 206.

New Zealand batters were in top form and that score was never going to challenge them. John Wright struck a fifty at the top of the order and Rutherford finished off the match with a clinical 65. And New Zealand chased down the target comfortably with 6 wickets remaining.

February 10, 2003: Jayasuriya lights up Bloemfontein

New Zealand and Sri Lanka met in the third match of the 2003 World Cup at Bloemfontein. Stephen Fleming won the toss and elected to field irst, Shane Bond provided the early wicket for New Zealand by sending back Atapattu.

After the dismissal, Bloemfontein witnessed the ‘Jayasuriashow.’ It wasn’t a typical flashy knock from the southpaw but he rotated the strike brilliantly that day and stitched together a match-winning 170-run partnership with Hashan Tillakaratne. In the process, he scored a magnificent ton and his innings took Sri Lanka to an above par 272. New Zealand needed a good start but exactly the opposite happened as they lost their first three wickets with the score on 15. With their three gun players Fleming, Astle, and McMillan back in the hut, New Zealand required something extraordinary and Scott Styris produced exactly that. His incredible innings of 141 off 125 balls gave Sri Lanka a real scare but none of the other batters assisted him and in the end New Zealand finished 47 runs short.

April 12, 2007: Vaas rattles New Zealand’s top-order

Sri Lanka and New Zealand both were in contention to qualify for the semi-finals when they met in the super eight stage. A victory in this match would have significantly boosted the chances of both the teams. Stephen Fleming won an important toss and elected to bat first. Soon, Chaminda Vass rocked New Zealand with three early breakthroughs. New Zealand looked down and out at that stage but Scott Styris at number four played one of the best innings of that World Cup. His knock propelled New Zealand to a competitive 219 on that pitch.

In reply, Sri Lanka lost Upul Tharanga early but a 100-run partnership between Kumar Sangakkara and Sanath Jayasuriya brought them close to the finishing line. They did lose both Jayasuriya and Jayawardene, but Sangakkara showed maturity and ensured Sri Lanka cross the finishing line without many hiccups.

April 24, 2007 (Semi-final): Super Jayawardene pilots Sri Lanka into final

The ultimate dream of featuring in the World Cup final was just a step away when Sri Lanka and New Zealand clashed in the semi-final of the World Cup at Kingston, Jamaica. Sri Lanka batted first on a deck which had some assistance for the seamers initially. New Zealand got the prize scalp of Jayasuriya early but his opening partner Upul Tharaga played an excellent knock of 73 off 74 balls to calm the nerves in the Sri Lankan dressing room. But the star of the day was Sri Lankan skipper Mahela Jayawardene, under pressure of the highest order, the elegant right-hander produced a high-quality innings to steer his side to a formidable total of 289.

In response, New Zealand lost Fleming early and they kept losing wickets regularly. They could never forge a serious partnership and the brilliance of Muralitharan (4/31) in the middle overs ensured a smooth ride for Sri Lanka in the final of the World Cup. The final wicket partnership between James Franklin and Jeetan Patel contributed 59 runs but that was too little too late to give Sri Lanka any scare.

March 18, 2011: Sangakkara’s hundred outshines New Zealand

This league stage encounter at Mumbai turned out to be a one-sided affair in favor of Sri Lanka. They batted first after winning the toss and their skipper Kumar Sangakkara looked in his elements. He scored a ton after a gap of 64 ODIs in that match and his innings of 111 propelled Sri Lanka to 265.

The pitch was tailor-made for spinners and considering that – New Zealand openers went hard against the new ball. In the process, they lost two crucial wickets of McCullum and Guptill. For the third wicket, Ross Taylor and Jesse Ryder stitched together a decent partnership of 49 runs but as expected, the spinners wreaked havoc in the middle overs. The magician Muttiah Muralitharan displayed his sorcery and blew away the middle order of black caps with a flurry of wickets. He ended up with sensational figures of 4/25 and New Zealand ended up 112 runs short.

March 29, 2011 (Semi-final): New Zealand fall to Sri lanka.. again

When Sri Lanka and New Zealand faced each other for the second time in the tournament, the stakes were much high as a place in the World Cup final was up for grabs. Sri Lanka started the match as hot favorites but New Zealand were high on confidence after upsetting one of the tournament favorites South Africa in the Quarter-final.

New Zealand batted first at the iconic R. Premadasa stadium in Colombo. They couldn’t get their act in order on a sluggish wicket and kept losing wickets at regular intervals. Scott Styris scored a gritty 57 and at one point, New Zealand were looking good at 192-4. But then Malinga got two vital breakthroughs and the visitors ended up with a below par 217. Sri Lanka started the chase confidently but lost their way in the middle overs. From 160-1 they crumbled to 189-5 and one felt the pressure of a World Cup semi-final was getting the better of them.

New Zealand had serious hope but the partnership of Thilan Samaraweera and Angelo Matthews ensured that Sri Lanka crossed the line without any further damage.

February 14, 2015: Co-hosts start title challenge in spectacular fashion

New Zealand clashed with Sri Lanka in the inaugural match of the 2015 World Cup. The black caps went into the tournament as one of the contenders to lift the cup and in the first match they certainly lived up to those expectations. Sri Lanka asked them to bat first and they got off to a flyer courtesy a brilliant 65 off 49 balls from their skipper McCullum. Their middle-order built on that start and in the slog overs, Corey Anderson flaunted his hitting-prowess and struck some meaty blows. His quickfire 75 off 46 powered New Zealand to a formidable 331.

In reply, Sri Lanka lost wickets at regular intervals and they never looked like chasing the total down. New Zealand’s all the front-line bowlers (Boult, Southee, Milne, Vettori, and Anderson) picked up two wickets each and Sri Lanka fell short by a margin of 98 runs.

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