Sri Lanka succumbed to a disastrous 10-wicket loss against New Zealand in their opening fixture of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 in Cardiff on Saturday.
However, their captain Dimuth Karunaratne was the only shining light, in what was otherwise an abject surrender to a lethal Kiwi pace attack. Karunaratne carried the bat after opening with Lahiru Thirimanne, as Sri Lanka collapsed within 29.2 overs as they amassed a total of 136 runs.
Sri Lanka, although the oldest team in the tournament, played like amateurs as they couldn’t ever get stability facing the Black Caps quicks. Although they got into a decent position at 46/1, they threw it all away to slump to 60/5, as New Zealand’s Matt Henry terrorised the Sri Lankan batting order, picking up 3 for 29.
Here are some match statistics from New Zealand’s resounding win over the men in Blue and Yellow.
# Dimuth Karunaratne (52*) became only the second player to carry the bat in a World Cup after Ridley Jacobs (49*) of West Indies did the same against Australia in the 1999 Cricket World Cup.
# Dimuth Karunaratne became only the second captain to carry the bat in ODIs after Upul Tharanga in 2017.
# This is the third lowest score while carrying the bat in ODIs, with the lowest being Javed Omar (33*) vs Zimbabwe in 2001, then Ridley Jacobs (49*) vs Australia in 1999 and now, Dimuth Karunaratne (52*) vs New Zealand in 2019.
# Dimuth Karunaratne became the first player in List A history to carry the bat in three instances, as he did before for Kandy vs Nuwara Eliya (2017), and for Kandy vs Galle (2019). Mudassar Nazar and Grant Flower have done it twice.
# Dimuth Karunaratne became the 12th ODI opener and only the sixth opener in cricket history to carry bat in both Tests & ODIs.
# This was the third highest ten-wicket win with most balls to spare in World Cups, as the highest in New Zealand vs Kenya (252 balls) in 2011, followed by South Africa vs Bangladesh (228 balls) in 2003, New Zealand vs Sri Lanka (203) in 2019 and India vs East Africa (181) in 1975.
# This was the fifth loss in as many ODIs for Sri Lanka playing in Cardiff, Wales.
# This was the third instance of New Zealand winning a World Cup match by ten wickets, as the first one was 72/0 vs Kenya in 2011, 166/0 vs Zimbabwe also in 2011 and now, 137/0 vs Sri Lanka in 2019.
# This was the 12th instance of a team winning by ten wickets in World Cups.
# This is the first time three opening batsmen remained unbeaten in a completed ODI match, with Dimuth Karunaratne (52*), Martin Guptill (73*) and Colin Munro (58*) all staying on the crease. New Zealand vs West Indies ODI in 2009 also had three openers unbeaten but the second innings lasted only 10.3 overs due to rain.
# Colin Munro and Martin Guptill stitched their first-century partnership in a one-day international (ODI).
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