Sri Lanka take honours in tri-series opener

Sri Lanka have opened the One Day International Tri-Series with an emphatic win over the BLACKCAPS in Colombo.

After making a great start with the ball and restricting Sri Lanka to 216 for seven in their 50 overs, the BLACKCAPS were unable to master the Sri Lanka attack and were dismissed 97 runs short.

The BLACKCAPS called in Daryl Tuffey, not originally included in ODI squad, after his good form in the recent warm up match, and also included Nathan McCullum, earning first ODI cap.

Sri Lanka won the toss and elected to bat, but were in strife early. Tuffey worried Tillikaratne Dilshan from the first ball, and on the fourth Dilshan played on to the stumps.

Bond picked up the theme in second over, and had Mahela Jayawardene caught at slip by Ross Taylor. He struck again six overs later as Sanath Jayasuriya lofted a top edge square of the wicket to give Ian Butler an easy catch on the third man boundary – and   Sri Lanka were in trouble at 22 for three.

Butler and Jacob Oram continued the choke hold, with Butler having Sangakkara caught square on the on-side in the 16th over. When Thilina Kandamby hit a sharp catch to Taylor at short mid-wicket off Daniel Vettori, the home side were reeling at 69/5.

Thilan Samaraweera then led a remarkable fightback, combining with Angelo Mathews in a sixth wicket partnership that started slowly but accelerated towards the end of the innings.

Mathews scored 51 in 58 balls before Bond bowled him to end the 127-run partnership in the 48th over.  Samaraweera scored his maiden ODI century, finishing with 104 from 124 balls. Sri Lanka finished on 216 for seven.

Shane Bond returned the best bowling figures with three for 43, while Ian Butler took two for 55.

Chasing a run rate of just over four an over, the BLACKCAPS lost Jesse Ryder in the second over, leg before to Thilan Tushara. Three overs later Martin Guptill was caught behind off Nuwan Kulasekara, who then had Ross Taylor leg before in the same over.

Brendon McCullum and Grant Elliott put on a welcome 30 runs for the fourth wicket, but the arrival of Lasith Malinga into the attack brought more trouble, with McCullum bowled in the 19th over.

Oram hit a boundary from his first ball but was caught behind off Malinga four balls later. The Sri Lanka paceman finished a stunning over with Nathan McCullum bowled first ball, leaving the New Zealanders at 41 for six.

Elliott and Vettori added 35 for the seventh wicket before Vettori was caught in front by Jayasuriya in the 27th over.  The 100 run mark came up in the 32nd over, but Elliott was out shortly after – bowled by Jayasuriya after anchoring the innings for 41 off 76 balls.

Tuffey was run out in the 36th over and while Butler added runs late in the innings he was bowled by Malinga for 25, bringing the match to a close with the BLACKCAPS on 119.

Malinga took four for 28, with Kulasekara and Jayasuriya two each.

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