New Zealand soundly beaten
New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming admitted his side did not score enough runs after slipping to a comprehensive seven-wicket defeat against Sri Lanka in Mumbai.
Deciding to bat first on a pitch sprayed with glue to help batting conditions, New Zealand were dismissed for 165 with man-of-the-match Muttiah Muralitharan claiming 4-23 and Sanath Jayasuriya grabbing 2-26.
Only three New Zealand players even reached double figures and, but for a determined 46 off 53 balls from Daniel Vettori, who shared in a 47-run last wicket stand with Jeetan Patel, they may not have reached 150.
But Jayasuriya gave Sri Lanka a flying start in reply with 20 off 15 balls and they completed their victory with 84 balls to spare.
“We didn’t score enough runs,” admitted Fleming, whose side would have booked their place in the ICC Champions Trophy semi-finals with victory.
“We were possibly 100 runs short, which is a lot in a one-day game and we paid the ultimate price. We were well and truly beaten.
“You need partnerships and to have 46 as your top score doesn’t cut it. You need substantial scores with good combinations.
“You need to get around 240 or 250 because this wicket was a lot better than the last we played on - it was not good enough.”
Fleming, whose side must beat Pakistan in their final group match to remain in the competition, added: “Sri Lanka are an outstanding side in these conditions.
“They are in good form, they are confident - you can feel that. They are a good, challenging side to play but we weren’t good enough today.”
Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene, whose side lost their opening match of the tournament against Pakistan, enthused: “Our guys showed a lot of character and bowled really well.
“I think if we’d have been chasing a target of 220 or 230 it would have been much tougher for us to chase but the spinners did it for us,” he said.
“It was important we didn’t lose wickets early on when we were chasing and Sanath gave us a good start.
“It’s a funny group we’re in and towards the end we took some chances because run-rate might come into play but the match was in the bag by then.”