Black Caps emerging as genuine Twenty20 champ contenders

Updated: May 02, 2010, 16:21 PM IST

Guyana: A fully fit side and an abridged cricketing format already have New Zealand looking like genuine contenders at the Twenty20 World Cup in the Caribbean.

A New Zealand Herald report says that the balance of the side looked sound in Guyana as they defeated Group B opponents Sri Lanka for a third straight time in Twenty20 matches.

Sri Lanka have now lost six of their last seven internationals in that form of the game, belying their No 2 seeding at this tournament.

Jesse Ryder top scored with 42 from 27 balls, combining for a 62-run second-wicket stand with Martin Guptill. Both were bowled trying to be too cute in the ‘reverse V’ when they could’ve played through the line but the partnership set a solid platform.
Importantly, the incoming batsmen never forgot the value of accumulating singles, even when scrapping together a series of mediocre partnerships.

It paints a healthy picture for New Zealand when they can afford to leave out a fit-again Kyle Mills.

The side is clearly benefiting from the competition that blooms when not burdened by injury.

Provided New Zealand can get past a resurgent Zimbabwe, who had warm-up wins over Australia and Pakistan, the tournament is wide open from here.