Kiwi tyros lead easy win over Lanka

Queenstown, December 31:

International cricket tyros Peter Fulton and Jamie How carried New Zealand to a convincing seven-wicket win over Sri Lanka with 13 overs to spare in the opening one-day fixture of the revived series here on Saturday. Fulton, in only his second outing in New Zealand colours, was not out 70 at the end while How on debut made 58 as the home side easily chased down their target of 164 runs in just 37.2 overs.

It was not a difficult target on a pitch which held no dangers, but the way Fulton and How put on 95 for the third wicket showed an authority which not even the experience of Chaminda Vaas and Muttiah Muralitharan could ruffle.

Opener How saw his first two partners — Lou Vincent and Nathan Astle — back in the pavillion by the 11th over and at two for 41, Sri Lanka could smell an outside chance of success.

But Fulton had other ideas. After taking time to read the rhythm of Muralitharan, he opened up with a majestic array of shots around the ground, scoring 70 off 79 balls including seven fours and a towering six.

As his confidence grew, so did the 24-year-old How’s, and they put New Zealand in an unbeatable position before How paid the price for a loose shot to Sanath Jayasuriya and was clean bowled, leaving Hamish Marshall to partner Fulton through the final 30 runs.

Earlier, the New Zealand pace attack had throttled the Sri Lankan batsmen, leaving the tourists all out for 164 in the 48th over. After being put in to bat, the Sri Lankans were in despair at 41 for four. Although Atapattu and Tillakaratne Dilshan staged a minor recovery for the fifth wicket, the innings never looked stable.

It was an all too familiar scene for Sri Lanka after their recent failure in India, while the New Zealand attack looked far more commanding than it did earlier in the month against Australia.

Jayasuriya and Upul Tharanga cautiously negotiated the first eight overs before Jayasuriya slashed at a full-length delivery from Kyle Mills and was caught at point by Lou Vincent for 12.

With his dismissal the wickets began to tumble.

Kumar Sangakkara edged Shane Bond to Peter Fulton at slip and was gone without scoring, Mahela Jayawardene scored one before nicking Jacob Oram to wicketkeeper Brendon McCullum, and Tharanga went in identical fashion for 17 two overs later.

Atapattu and Dilshan put on 64 for the fifth wicket before Atapattu gave Mills his second wicket and was out for 35. Dilshan top-scored with his 84-minute stay at the crease, compiling an aggressive 42 off 54 balls that included four fours and a big six off Chris Cairns before he fell to Bond, reducing Sri Lanka to six for 132.

With no recognised tail, the last five wickets went for a mere 32 runs, with Mills, Bond and Oram sharing the bowling honours at three wickets each. The win puts New Zealand 2-0 up in the five-match series after winning the first game a year ago before the Sri Lankans cancelled the rest of that tour following the devastating tsunamis in south Asia.



S Jayasuriya c Vincent b Mills 12

U Tharanga c McCullum b Oram 17

K Sangakkara c Fulton b Bond 0

M Jayawardene c McCullum b Oram 1

M Atapattu c How b Mills 35

T Dilshan c Vincent b Bond 42

R Arnold b Mills 25

C Vaas c Vettori b Oram 1

F Maharoof b Cairns 18

L Malinga not out 2

M Muralitharan c Vettori b Bond 0

Extras: 11 (6lb, 4w, 1nb)

Total: 164 (47.2 overs)

FoW: 1-23, 2-25, 3-34, 4-41, 5-105, 6-132, 7-139, 8-150, 9-162

New Zealand bowling: K Mills 10-2-31-3, S Bond 8.2-1-29-3, J Oram 10-0-31-3, C Cairns 8-0-43-1, D Vettori 10-1-22-0, S Styris 1-0-3-0


L Vincent c Sangakkara b Vaas 15

J How b Jayasuriya 58

N Astle lbw b Muralitharan 2

P Fulton not out 70

H Marshall not out 16

Extras: 5 (1lb, 4w)

Total: 166/3 (37.2 overs)

FoW: 1-32, 2-41, 3-136

Sri Lanka bowling: C Vaas 9-2-38-1, L Malinga 6-0-44-0, M Muralitharan 10-1-29-1, S Jayasuriya 8.2-2-36-1, F Maharoof 4-0-18-0