Trent Bridge, June 16: New Zealand’s innings simply fell apart in the face of crisis, cracking like a crisp biscuit served fresh from the kitchen of panic.
The final scorecard re-instated Sri Lanka’s might over the Kiwis as they rounded off a massive 48-run victory. With the loss, New Zealand were knocked out of the T20 World Cup 2009.
The bone of contention for New Zealand was their batting that never looked in the slightest of ease against the guile of the Lankan spinners.
Even the seamers were lethal against the islanders as they were off to a horrid run chase, lost the top order cheaply and the run-rate constantly piled up, diminishing their chances of a semifinal berth.
Sri Lanka managed to post a decent 158/5 on the board against a buoyant Kiwi camp in the all-crucial super 8 tie.
Mahela Jayawardene was in prime form as he remained unbeaten at 41 and steered the Lankans out of a possible middle-order collapse.
Tillakaratne Dilshan was particularly unlucky as he succumbed to a wily delivery by Vettori to depart at 48.
The efforts of the top order did give the islanders a chance to blast off towards the end and pile up a huge total for the Kiwis to chase, provided the bowling could be whacked in the slog overs.
The gamble to start the proceedings with tweaker Nathan McCullum paid rich dividends for Daniel Vettori as New Zealand struck gold early on in the innings as they got a dream start, claiming the explosive Sanath Jayasuriya for a duck in the first over itself.
Sri Lanka skipper Kumar Sangakkara had won the toss and elected to bat first.
New Zealand (Playing XI): Brendon McCullum, Aaron Redmond, Martin Guptill, Ross Taylor, Scott Styris, Jacob Oram, Peter McGlashan(w), Nathan McCullum, Daniel Vettori(c), Kyle Mills, Ian Butler
Sri Lanka (Playing XI): Sanath Jayasuriya, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Kumar Sangakkara(w/c), Mahela Jayawardene, Chamara Silva, Jehan Mubarak, Angelo Mathews, Muttiah Muralitharan, Ajantha Mendis, Lasith Malinga, Isuru Udana