Christchurch: Brendon McCullum’s leadership and the canny skills of Daniel Vettori were credited with driving the New Zealand juggernaut to a huge win in their opening World Cup match against Sri Lanka.
New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum in full flow against Sri Lanka at Hagley Oval in Christchurch on Saturday. Pic/AFP
Kiwi all-rounder Corey Anderson was named man of the match for his 75 and two for 18 double in New Zealand’s 98-run win, but the 24-year-old passed the credit to the two veterans in the side. McCullum, he said, erased any nerves in the side when he blasted a rapid 65 in a quickfire 111-run opening partnership with Martin Guptill to set up New Zealand’s impressive 331-6 in their 50 overs.
Bout of nerves
Vettori then snared the key wickets of Tillakaratne Dilshan and Mahela Jaywardene as New Zealand rolled Sri Lanka for 233.
“We had a had a few nerves before the game, being the first World Cup game, but they they settled pretty quickly
when Brendon and Guppy (Guptill) went about their work,” Anderson said.
“We all know Baz (McCullum) as being someone that in a big event he really turns it on.”
“He said to treat it as another game of cricket and go about your work and keep what began as a juggernaut rolling forward and that’s what we did. Brendon’s so inspirational it’s always nice to to have him on our side.”
'Poor fielding cost us'
Meanwhile, senior Sri Lanka batsman Lahiru Thirimanne blamed sloppy fielding for their 98-run hiding by New Zealand in the World Cup opener at Hagley Oval.
“We leaked 20-30 runs through poor fielding,” said Thirimanne.
“It was a good wicket but 280-290 would have been chaseable on this ground. But we didn’t field well and that cost us.”