New Zealand began their assault on World Cup glory with a crushing 10-wicket victory over Sri Lanka in Cardiff. The Black Caps have traditionally raised their game for the 50-over showpiece and signalled their intent by dismissing the Asians for just 138.
Skipper Dimuth Karunaratne top-scored for the islanders with an unbeaten 52 but only two other batsmen made it to double figures in a woeful batting display. Paceman Lockie Ferguson was the pick of the New Zealand bowlers taking 3-22 while Matt Henry claimed 3-29 and Treat Boult also took a wicket.
The beaten 2015 finalists were ruthless in chasing down their target and reached 137 without losing a wicket as Martin Guptil hit an unbeaten 73 and Colin Munro was 58 not out. Captain Kane Williamson was delighted with the result and reserved special praise for his bowlers.
“It’s a great start for us,” he said. “You want a balanced attack going into any surface. It is important that you have that to have aggressive options for different occasions. “The two at the top played beautifully. It was nice for those guys to play a few shots. It was a good all-round performance.”