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Sri Lanka v New Zealand
Grenada, 12 April 2007

Test Match Special podcast | Blog

New Zealand 219-7 lost to Sri Lanka 222-4 by six wickets

Sri Lanka ended New Zealand's unbeaten World Cup run and moved to within sight of the last four with a comfortable six-wicket Super 8 victory in Grenada.

Scott Styris made an unbeaten 111 as the Black Caps laboured to a modest total of 219-7 from their 50 overs.

Chaminda Vaas took 3-33 and Muttiah Muralitharan 3-32 for Sri Lanka.

In reply, Sanath Jayasuriya made 64 before Kumar Sangakkara guided Sri Lanka home with almost five overs to spare with an unbeaten 69.


By Tom Fordyce

46th over: SL 222-4 - SRI LANKA WIN BY SIX WICKETS
Sanga flicks Gillespie fine for four, and that's your lot - the easiest of wins. He finishes on 69, Dilshan on 14. Very solid SL performance that, and all without Slinga getting involved too. Catch you all on Friday for the joys of Australia v Ireland - delightful.

45th over: SL 218-4
Four more casual strolls off Oram, who can barely be bothered turning his arm over here. Two needed - and it's time, interestingly, for the final powerplay of the innings.

44th over: SL 214-4
Vettori concludes his 10 overs with the steady leak of four singles to finish with 2-35. If the Black Caps had a white towel it would now be arcing in the umpires' direction.

43rd over: SL 210-4
Jacob Oram is handed the task of taking six wickets for 15 runs. He starts it slowly, giving away five singles and a no-ball.

From Hannah Rowe in Tunbridge Wells, TMS inbox: "Is Steve Smith in fact Superman? Because in over 32 he was in New York, but by over 39 he is in Los Angeles... Or is he magic?"

42nd over: SL 204-4
Six singles off Vettori. 16 runs needed off 48 balls.

From Tim in Epson, TMS inbox: "Could you ask Hannah if she would care to join me at my chateau?"

41st over: SL 198-4
Gilespie's gone back to wobbly mode - two no-balls and an over-pitched one on off for Sanga to cream through cover. 22 needed, nine overs to get 'em. Start packing your empties away.

From Sarah Ansell, TMS inbox: "As this appears to have become a 'Chat Room', can I make a bid for a single sexy 40-year-old in or around Canterbury?"

40th over: SL 187-4
That's 50

Great spell from Danny V, this - all sorts of variation in loop and pace. Two singles off it, a big shout for lbw and two inside edges onto the pads. One of the singles takes Sanga to his 50, his 39th in one-dayers. No great celebrations - there's a job to be off-polished here.

39th over: SL 185-4
Franklin continues, and new man Dilshan tickles away to get off the mark. Sanga pulls to midwicket for two and approaches his half-ton. No second spot of Jagger. Maybe he's gone over to the sight-screen to paint it black.

From Steve Smith in Los Angeles, TMS inbox: "Hannah, I would be honoured to be your obvious sidekick. I will arrive presently aboard the Chattanooga Choo Choo."

38th over: WICKET - Silva c Bond b Vettori 23, SL 180-4
Wicket falls

That makes it potentially interesting - Vettori fools Chamara in the flight and induces a lofter straight into Bond's hams at long-off. Fleming liked that one - he and Danny thought that one out.

From Ben in Tunbridge Wells, TMS inbox: "Seeing as she is looking for the obvious, and tonight is all about 'chat', please give Lady Chatterly my details, being that she resides in the same beautiful town as myself. Now I just pray that my girlfriend hasn't taken a sudden interest in the Lanka v NZ match... or indeed cricket... or indeed me..."

37th over: SL 178-3
Supa stuff from Silva, cracking Franklin square for the best cut of the day. The group of men-as-nuns in the stands dance a drunken jig. Or they might just be trying to stand up.

36th over: SL 172-3
Maiden from Gillespie. Almost makes up for the 18 off his first over. But not quite.

From John Miller, TMS inbox: "My name is J Miller and I am doing a PhD in English Literature at Glasgow University. As I arrived home seconds ago I checked the cricket happenings, only to discover that they have been largely replaced by banter concerning J Miller's use of English. My lawyers are on red alert."

35th over: SL 172-3
Half-volley from Franklin gets a Chamara clout for four past the diving Oram. A leg-stumper gets the same treatment before an over-correcter on off-stump is tickled fine for the third four on the bounce.

From Hannah Rowe in Tunbridge Wells, TMS inbox: "If I am Lady Chatterly, I shall be looking for the obvious. Any takers? Anyway, I prefer little Miss Chatterbox (though not the type of chatterbox mentioned earlier)."

34th over: SL 159-3
Gillespie is back on and Silva fails to take advantage of a half-tracker, slapping it straight to backward point. The batsman does pick up one with a push to mid-wicket. Bit of kamikaze running next up from Sri Lanka, Sangakkara setting off for a run that was never there and just scrambling back to beat a rather ragged throw from Bond.

From Trevor Kirk in Stoke, TMS inbox: "Billy Ocean's real name is Leslie Sebastian Charles."

33rd over: SL 158-3
James Franklin - that's their answer. Macca stands up to the timbers and pulls off a sensational take down leg. Off a wide, sadly, but still a nice moment. Enthused by his skill, he barks rapidly in Nicko fashion.

32nd over: SL 155-3
You can't heap any blame on Bondo here - he's gone for just 26 off his eight overs. Just a single off that one, and new man Chamara Silva can't get him away. Fleming and Vettori have a chin-wag to work out where the next bite might come from.

From Steve Smith in New York, TMS inbox: "If Hannah Rowe fills the chat slot, will she be known as Lady Chatterley?"

31st over: WICKET - Jayawardene c sub (Marshall) b Vettori 15, SL 152-3
Wicket falls

Daft shot, but New Zealand don't care - Jaya slaps a shorter one from Danny straight to a surprised Hamish at midwicket. Vettori's 200th one-day wicket.

30th over: SL 150-2
Bondo goes wide but angles it down leg, and Skipper Jayawars tips it down to the fine leg boundary. A man in the crowd dressed like an Aussie life-guard - yellow swimming hat, cropped-sleeve tight-fit t-shirt, obscene trunks - is working his way through a family-pack of beverages.

From Hannah Rowe in Tunbridge Wells, TMS inbox: "Sorry, had a bit of a Vaughan there - started well with the chat but then lost momentum, please don't chatise me for this. Is anyone else worried that curiosity may have killed the chat?"

29th over: SL 144-2
Vettori's turn again, and a single apiece. Moody's still having his ear talked off by Murali but has abandoned all pretence of looking interested. He's now staring glazed-eyed into middle-distance like a man on the phone to his mum.

From Sam Fold in New York, TMS inbox: "With that last wicket, the chat is now definitely amongst the pigeons."

28th over: SL 142-2
Fleming brings back Bond in the hope of another breakthrough, and the straight-faced paceman keeps it tidy.

From Stuart Watson, TMS inbox: "Re Stewart Island - shame to say, I've never been there. It's damn cold, I know that much about the place."

27th over: SL 140-2
Jayawardene up and running quickly against Scotty with a two and single tickled to fine leg. Just been told that Billy Ocean lives up the road from the ground here. Maybe that's why Jagger is in town - some sort of mooted duet. Great name, Billy Ocean. no way that's a stage name.

Vote update: thanks to the 8,708 of you website users who got involved - 53% think SL will go furthest in the tournament of these two sides, 26% favour the Kiwis, 19% think both will get knocked out in the semis and a pessimistic 2% think neither side will qualify for the semis.

From Gavin McCarthy, TMS inbox: "If New Zealand's bowlers try to put the Squeeze on, will Sri Lanka be too cool for chats?"

26th over: WICKET - Jayasuriya c McCullum b Oram 64, SL 130-2
Wicket falls

Shock all round the ground - Sanath lunges at a wide one and gets a bottom edge in the waiting gloves of the sunglassed McCullum. Good snag standing up, that one.

25th over: 128-1
Shocking fielding from Jacob on the deep point boundary, letting a gentle roller through his legs for four. Heads in hands under black caps. More balcony news - Murali's telling Tom Moody an absolute belter of an anecdote. At least that's what Murali thinks - but while he's almost crying with laughter, Moody's smiling politely in the manner of a parent indulging an over-enthusiastic child.

From Matt Brook in Oxford, TMS inbox: "Unfortunately my career as a chatsman never really took off after a bout of verbal diarrhoea I experienced on tour in the sub-consonant."

24th over: 122-1
Six singles off Oram's over. Up on the Sri Lankan balcony, Trevor Penney is showing Fernando something on his laptop. From the look on Dilhara's face, it's no side-splitting viral email.

23rd over: 115-1
Even more relaxed than he was before, Jaya leans back and clouts Scotty high over wide midwicket for a four - a one-bouncer. The easiest of peas.

From Nick Gray, TMS inbox: "In the event of bad weather, will the chatting be decided by the Duckword-Lewis method?"

22nd over: 110-1
That's 50

Jaya bags his half-ton with a scampered single to midwicket off Oram. Took him 65 balls, and it's his 63rd one-day 50.

From Stuart Watson, expat Kiwi in the USA: "Actually, the next inhabitable place is Stewart Island, which should be on his elbow."

Stuart - wasn't there some nasty business on Stewart Island once? Something which resulted in everyone legging it to Invercargill, an option which shows just how bad things must have been?

21st over: 106-1
You can't keep a good Scotty down - six wobblers from the Mulleted Sneer, and six dot balls.

From Nick Laletin, TMS inbox: "Maybe Margaret Chatcher could come in for a few iron maidens?"

20th over: 106-1
Bong - here comes Big Jacob. Same result though - a simple pushed two for Sanga and a single apiece. Cruise control very much on.

From Ted Picken in Kings Langley, TMS inbox: "Perhaps we need to get Bangladesh involved to present the eventual winners with their very own Chattagong?"

19th over: 102-1
Scotty chugs on, and two easy singles. Not quite sure where the breakthrough's going to come from here - must surely be Oram O'Clock soon though.

From Julian Tyler, TMS inbox: "I see we've switched into French. Anyone conjugate the verb chatir? 'Les Lankans de Sri are like les chats avec la creme.'"

18th over: 100-1
Two more to Sanga off Danny, and that's the 100 up in the easiest possible fashion. No pressure at all in the middle - expect to see cigars within the hour. There's a New Zealand fan in the crowd with a tattoo of the outline of North and South islands on his right bicep. Presumably he's got the next inhabited place somewhere near his left ankle.

17th over: 96-1
Styro continues, and Sanga gets a thick edge through slip for two. Styris's mini-mullet, barely noticeable at the start of this tournament, is coming on a treat.

From Phil Cox, TMS inbox: "C'mon guys - let's have a break, have a chit-chat."

16th over: 93-1
Jaya to 41 off 48 balls with an easy sweep for two and un petit dabbage to point for one.

From Dan Lucas, TMS inbox: "With Miller gone, I assume Mick Jagger can't get no chatisfaction?"

15th over: 90-1
Miracle-man Scotty S into the attack, but the leaks continue - six off the over, and Oram beats the turf with frustration as a single squiggles past his outstretched hand.

14th over: 84-1
Four easy singles off Vettori. They're going along at six an over, with 3.7-odd needed. Wickets wanted by Enn Zed.

From Nick Laletin, TMS inbox: "I once took a chat-trick in school, but it was only the 3rd XI, so who cares?"

13th over: 79-1
Gillespie's happier with that - just four off his third over, a reduction of 14 on the first. Just spotted Mick Jagger in the crowd. I like to report that he's wearing a lime-green sleeveless top of the sort he sported in the video for 'Dancing in the Streets', but he's wearing an extremely sober shirt with navy trousers. Much more Charlie Watts, the whole get-up.

12th over: 75-1
Danny Vettori, now beardless after losing his facial-hair contest with Craig McMillan, comes on for his first twirl of the day. No great dramas there - a cut two for Jaya and a brace of unos. Website users - feel free to have a pop at the vote on the right.

11th over: 71-1
Back comes the shamefaced snack-stealer, and he almost gets off the naughty step with a slower one which Jaya lofts towards Fleming at mid-on - only for Skip to fingertip away his second semi-snag of the innings.

From Simon in New York, TMS inbox: "I am sitting here laughing so much I almost chat myself."

10th over: 66-1
That's how it's done, says Bondo - just a single off his fifth over. Gillespie can't see - his eyes are still downcast, like a child who's just been caught with his face in the biscuit tin.

9th over: 65-1
Shocker of a first over for Mark Gillespie. He strays down leg for the first two and is hoicked down to fine leg for a six and four by Jayas, no-balls and is then battered over mid-on for another. 18 off the over. Ouch. At the same stage, New Zealand were 15-2. Ouchucio.

From Hannah Rowe in Tunbridge Wells, TMS inbox: "Mr Fordyce, sir - am I to assume that antiquated rules of the MCC and traditions within the sport will preclude me from filling Miller's chat slot, being as I am a **gasp** female?"

Rowe - anyone who calls me "sir" without being a policeman gets the nod in my book.

8th over: 47-1
Sanga launches into Bond, cracking him on the up through cover for two and then driving sweetly past extra cover for a delight of a four. Bond then serves up a cunningly-disguised slower one which Sanga pops fractionally over the bearded Craig McMillan at mid-on. Close shave, in one sense at least.

7th over: 39-1
Jayas shovels Franko just past the beseeching hands mid-on for two, and then jogs a single.

From Olav de Rhoter, Holland, TMS inbox: "As a Dutchman I would just like to put in a shout (or a word) for a place in the squad, I consider myself to be a handy lower order chatter. If necessary I am prepared to turn to my multilingual skills to confound opponents with words like 'bestuursvoorzitter' and 'uithoudingsvermogen'."

6th over: 33-1
Nice from Bondo, tying Jayas down to a mere single off the final ball. Clearly rushing his coconuts off on adrenaline after that catch.

From Dave Crawford, TMS inbox: "I had a go at chatting once but someone caught me unaware - good job I had a chatterbox for protection."

5th over: WICKET - Tharanga c Bond b Franklin 11, Sri Lanka 30-1
Wicket falls

Just after Fleming spills a finger-stinger from Thara at point, Franko strikes. Tharanga slashes at a wide one and the ball whistles down to third man, where Bond takes a very useful two-handed snag above his head. He alsmost mis-judged that one, taking a few steps in before leaping backwards and squeezing in a little roll for the cameras before hitting the deck.

4th over: Sri Lanka 25-0
Better from Bond, whose hair still has something of the Hitler side-parting about it. Chuckles for the Sri Lankans as McCullum leaps to gather a throw from the outfield and falls backwards over the stumps.

3rd over: Sri Lanka 22-0
More jam from Sri Lanka - Tharanga jousts widly at Franko and gets an inside edge past McCullum for a four with streaks running right through it.

From Will Riches in Kent, TMS inbox: "I feel confident that I'm ready to make the step up - we're chasing a fairly modest total, and if we keep phrases in hand, our chatting ability will keep us in the game as long as we keep the required chat rate under eight words per over."

2nd over: Sri Lanka 17-0
Shane Bond has a nightmare too - a fierce bouncer goes for four leg byes off Jayasuriya's shoulder, and then gets clouted square for four more. Fleming's face seems to indicate that his lunch may soon be returning for a second viewage.

From Jem McDowall in New York, TMS inbox: "I'm 38 years old, never been capitalised and have been respectably texting around the county scene for years - 50 words here; occasional 100 words there, but always a steady, reliable presence in the middle paragraphs. I am quite often compared to Synonyms of Australia. Just wondering if the bad luck of Miller would get me a first cap?"

1st over: Sri Lanka 9-0
Ideal start for Sri Lanka - nine runs, and not a single one came off the bat. McCullum misses a Franklin lifter for four byes before Franklin fires one miles down leg for five wides. Messy business.

Consider this a ten-minute audition period for Miller's place in the innings, by the way.

From Graham Yapp, TMS inbox: "As a former headteacher, I think I should point out that we don't spend so much time on chat in schools these days. Pupils who chatted in my school often ended up in the corridor of uncertainty outside my office."


50th over: NZ 219-7
Great last over for Enn Zed - Styro belts the final ball of the innings for four to finish on a crucial 111 not out, with Franki keeping him company with 25. He's rescued a semi-decent score for the Black Caps there, and set up a tasty little contest. Back with more in around 40 minutes - and we'll be looking for a new Miller to fill the post-1800 GMT "everyone's-left-the-office" hole...

From Dean in Dover, TMS inbox: "Does anyone know Miller's chatistics? Maybe a wagon wheel showing his verbs and nouns is available?"

From Neil Dobson: "An awful thought has just struck me: Before today, Miller couldn't chat at a barn door from five paces, and yet suddenly he's got a lyrical swagger about him. And now he's had to go off with 'cramp'. Has our new hero, sick of being ignored by the selectors, turned to chat-enhancing substances?"

49th over: NZ 203-7
He's reached 100

Scotty nails his ton with a crashing pull for four off Fernando. Hats off to the Sneermeister-General - he's been one of the stars of the tourney so far.

From Ed Danby, TMS inbox: "It looks like Miller was used early in the innings as a pinch chatter. What we need now is a Nixon-type character who can finish the chatting off."

48th over: NZ 195-7
Hold on to your hats - Franki goes ballistic against Dilshan, clubbing him for the first six in, er, years over long-on, and then taking two more twos.

From Damian Blow, TMS inbox: "Miller can be seen on the balcony, laptop in front of him, scrutinising his every noun, verb and adjective. He seems pretty upset that just one ill-advised adverb put paid to a pretty impressive debut as a one-day chatter. You have to feel for the lad to be honest."

47th over: NZ 181-7
Styro to 97 with a sweep for two. 147 balls he's faced. He won't win medals for this effort, but he's saved his side's bacon from a real roasting.

From Craig in Kent, TMS inbox: "I think it all went wrong for Miller when he got drunk and fell off that chatamaran."

46th over: NZ 175-7
Be careful what you wish for - maiden from Dilshan, and suddenly the heart longs for the simple joy of a scampered one. No pleasing some people, is there?

45th over: NZ 175-7
Four singles off Murali. Honestly.

From Steve J in Nottingham, TMS inbox: "The chat has really dried up since Miller's departure. Shows the value of having an opening chatsman who can carry his chat right through the innings."

44th over: NZ 171-7
Smart work from Styro, chipping Jaya for two over cover and then doing the same over midwicket. He's nibbled his way to 90 here. Supa effort.

43rd over: NZ 164-7
Dilshan again, four singles. Deja-vu for text commentators and readers alike.

42nd over: NZ 160-7
Uh-oh - the Styris sneer is back with a vengance. James Frankin joins him in the middle and takes a two as Jaya eases him in with a full toss.

From Sam Jacobs in Bournemouth, TMS inbox: "Anyone caught a glimpse of Miller's WAG?. Looks like Miller isn't just good for chat."

41st over: WICKET - Vettori c Silva b Murali 5, NZ 155-7
Wicket falls

Silva's like ball-magnet today - the beardless Vettori swings Murali straight down his face at midwicket. Three for 23 for Murali, and his eyes have almost popped clean out of his head.

40th over: NZ 154-6
Dilshan continues, and new man Vettori flicks a loose one on leg to midwicket to get off the oval. Scotty continues his one-man campaign to rehabilitate the single.

39th over: WICKET - McCullum lbw Murali 1, NZ 145-6
Wicket falls

Chaos in the middle - Murali turns one in to McCullum, the ball balloons to short cover and Umpire Asad Rauf sticks up his finger. McCullers is disgusted - he can smell the revenge for that controversial run-out he pulled off on Murali last December, and walks off shaking his head and waving his bat. Half of the Sri Lankan team seemed to be appealing for the catch, not the lbw...

38th over: WICKET - Oram c Maharouf b Dilshan 31, NZ 141-5
Wicket falls

That was coming - the ball after belting Dilshan high over long-on for six, Oram aims for a repeater but skies it into the clouds, and Maha bags the steepler to shouts of joy from his team-mates.

37th over: NZ 135-4
Murali again, and it's a single to Big Jacob. He wants more than that. Scotty sweeps for two.

36th over: NZ 132-4
Oram comes charging down the track at Jaya but can't get the biggie he wants, settling for a loopy two off the splice over mid-on. Not much noise from the Beige Brigade boys in the stands, although some impressive Victorian copper-style facial hairings.

35th over: NZ 127-4
After that brief explosion, it's back to dry bread and tap water - three singles and a no-ball off Murali. Think Murali may have deliberately stepped over the crease just to keep the scorers awake.

From Richard Hull, TMS inbox: "Valiant knock from J Miller there, seeing the letters like footballs towards the end with an impressive five-liner. Rightly applauded off as he raises his chat to the crowd."

34th over: NZ 123-4
Sing hosannas - a two! And another! Fireworks go off across Grenada, dancing-girls invade the pitch and the Red Arrows swoop across the stadium trailing plumes of Kiwi-coloured smoke.

From Dean the Aussie in Windsor, TMS inbox: "Typical lack of spine from Miller, quitting when the going gets tough - no wonder you English never win anything."

33rd over: NZ 119-4
Four singles off Dilshan, and the ghost of Boycott stalks this sun-kissed land.

From Andy Keeler, TMS inbox: "The trouble is that young chatsmen don't get to experience the full variety of match conditions. In my day we had to chat about uncovered wickets. There was none of this 'powerplay' nonsense to help you keep the words flowing."

32nd over: NZ 115-4
Oram aids the England analogy with a shocking Nixonesque reverse-sweep which fails to garner a run. Singles blah blah blah.

From Brendan Devaney, TMS inbox: "Is there any truth in the rumour that Miller had to be rescued from a pedalo last night?"

31st over: NZ 112-4
And now just one each. Flighty from Dilshan. Almost 80 balls since the last boundary. It's like watching England in disguise, except much quicker.

30th over: NZ 110-4
Singles o'clock once again - two apiece to the batsmen. Oram's on the point of eating his own helmet with frustration.

From Neil Dobson, TMS inbox: "Miller's chat might not produce great individual results, but surely today has proved that his ability to lead others should earn him a place in the side alone. He's been there chatting right through the innings, allowing others to build chat around him. And that's the sign of a great chatsman."

29th over: NZ 106-4
Tillakaratne Dilshan on for more twirlage, and it's singles all round. No smackage from Oram so far - he's playing an innings of Vaughanesque turgidity.

From Becks in Cambridge: "I think Miller could do with a stint back in county chatting. He needs some time in the middle and he's just not getting it here. If it comes to it, he could always apply for Strictly Come Chatting."

28th over: NZ 100-4
Oram sweeps Jaya and Sanga nearly takes the greatest blind catch of all time, only for the ball to rocket onto the top of his shoulder and bounce away for two.

From J Miller, TMS inbox: "I'm going to have to come off. Cramp in my typing finger. I'm gutted to be honest - I underestimated the humidity out there. Still, it's very much a squad game these days and I know the lads will give it at least 120%."

27th over: NZ 95-4
Two Scotty singles, one to Oram. Murali squealing with every turn of the ball.

From Nick Scanlan-Dyas, TMS inbox: "I'd love to join in the emailing today, but I'm going to have to go home early with a stress-related lack of chat"

26th over: NZ 92-4
That's 50

Say what you like about Styro - I have - but he's doing the bizzo once again. That's his 50, and he celebrates by chopping Jaya away behind point for three. The sneer has officially gone.

From Simon Barrett, TMS inbox: "I for one am backing Miller to open the chatting next time round. With a cool abbreviated first name like 'J', young Miller could easily be the next AB de Villiers."

25th over: NZ 87-4
Styro drives Murali for two to long-off and survives a nonsense lbw shout. Getting close to his fourth half-ton of the competition, Styro - he's like a less-ginger, more effective Colly.

From Graham Hansen, TMS inbox: "We have to be careful not to place to much pressure on the young pretender J. He has, admittedly, had a shaky start to his international career, but should view this as an opportunity for consolidation. Play yourself in; see the words large; know the text forum; then the confidence to create expansive sentences will undoubtedly follow."

24th over: NZ 84-4
Jacob Oram strides in with giant paces and gets busy with a trio of singles off Jaya as Scotty does the same.

From Ciro, TMS inbox: "I'm sick of Miller telling us he's about to start chatting well - we?ve heard it too often. There's kids chatting away here who surely wouldn?t chat any worse than him given the opportunity."

23rd over: WICKET - McMillan c Silva b Murali 1. NZ 77-4
Wicket falls

And now they've dished out some, er, wicket souffle - Macca tries an ambitious sweep from off stump, gets a top edge and Silva takes an easy snag running round from short fine leg.

From Rick in Oxford, TMS inbox: "When will the Miller cut-out facemasks be available?"

22nd over: NZ 76-3
Jayasuriya on for a tweak of his own, and Styro forces him away for a lucky single. Craig McMillan wants a slice a bosh pie here, but the spin-twins are only serving turn tart so far.

21st over: NZ 75-3
Murali on, and there's a huge appeal against Styro for a ell bee. Styro's not keen on all this screaming - some unfinished business from that nasty business at Christchuch last December, I'd wager...

From Mark Senior, TMS inbox: "Miller just needs to get the basics right - if he puts enough words in the right areas then it's only a matter of time before the sentences start flowing. Hopefully the slower live games should give him the chance to put some clever points together, rather than feeling under pressure from the big-hitting banter that sometimes goes on."

20th over: WICKET - Fulton c Silva b Vaas 28, NZ 71-3
Wicket falls

Big wicket for Sri Lanka - Fulton pulls loosely at Vaas and balloons the ball straight down Silva's throat on the midwicket boundary.

19th over: NZ 70-2
Fults goes after Fernando, belting him over square leg for four (his favourite shot by a million miles) and then driving for two. Shouts of encouragement for the bowler from his team-mates. Can you hear your chums, Fernando? I remember, long ago, another starry night like this. In the firelight, Fernando - you were humming to yourself and softly strumming your guitar.

18th over: NZ 63-2
Huge controversy in Grenada - with Sanga standing to Vaas, Styro tries to flick him over the 'keeper's head, misses and then watches in horror as Sanga scrambles the catch and screams an appeal. After a moment, however, it becomes clear that Sanga was screaming something else entirely - the ball stuck him square on his key assets. He rolls around on the deck for a while while everyone else politely looks at their fingernails before Styro goes for the same shot next ball and connects for the rudest of fours.

From J Miller, TMS inbox: "I know everyone back home is expecting a lot, but there's no doubt there are no easy sessions in text commentary these days."

J - the powerplay was in operation there too - you've had a stinker...

17th over: NZ 59-2
Brief breaks for drinks, and the curly-mopped Fernando gets boffed through cover for two by Scotty. That moves Sneero onto 34 off 53 balls, and Peter "22 off 45" Fulton can stick that in his pipe and puff on it.

From Marc Kelly, TMS inbox: "Hey Miller - lend us your keyboard for beach chatting - you're not using it..."

16th over: NZ 52-2
Absolute 'mare of an over for Maha - he has Fulton caught off a steepler at midwicket, only for Doctrove to belt out the no-ball shout. With Scotty on strike, he then gets flayed for two consecutive fours - one high over mid-off and one through midwicket.

15th over: NZ 42-2
Fernando's not enjoying this end so much - he strays down leg and gets popped behind square by Fulton for four.

From Joe Fenn, TMS inbox: "I think maybe J needs to take some more risks with his chat. He's looking pretty solid - but that's not enough to impress these selectors, who are looking for a vastly-improved chat-rate."

14th over: NZ 36-2
Scotty tries to smash Maha into Friday, mis-hits and has to settle for Thursday mid-morning. Fulton contents himself with a snicked single, strolls through thinking the strike is his and is disgusted when Styris nibbles a cheeky one off the final ball.

From Andy Furness, TMS inbox: "Do you not think that Styris's facial hair makes him look like Satan?"

Never met the man, Andy - been too well-behaved in my life to have any visits from Lucers.

13th over: NZ 33-2
Fernando back on, and ain't he the papa today - a maiden on his return. Styro looks meaningfully at man-on-strike Fulton. I give it three overs before they start slapping each other.

12th over: NZ 33-2
Right, says Styro - you thunk you're so flesh, Fulton - watch thus... He creams Maha behind square for four and then cracks him through cover for a beauty. Fulton looks away with a slight sulk spreading across his features.

From Aidan Swain, TMS inbox: "I have to say we're at a loss quite why Miller has failed to fire. He has been chatting well in nets, but it just isn't translating into good match chat. But the lad is working extremely hard, and we're sure that he'll still have a major impact on the World Cup."

11th over: NZ 23-2
The strike-nicking from Styro is getting ridiculous - he takes a suicidal run to Murali at mid-on and is only halfway down the pitch when the throw misses the timbers by a fraction. More sneering. Fulton, overjoyed to be on strike for a whole delivery, whacks Vaas over square leg for a four and then glares down the pitch at his partner.

10th over: NZ 18-2
Maha again, and Styro drives him for two. He then flips a fuller one behind square to nick the strike off Fults again. We've all been there.

From Chris Day, TMS inbox: "You don't know how disappointed I am with the new-look 'Father Xmas in Zinc' Vaas. When he just used to do the bands on his cheeks, he was a dead ringer for Ace Frehley of rock dinosaurs Kiss. Now he just looks like he's been baking bread all morning, albeit in a slightly clumsy way."

9th over: NZ 15-2
Scotty makes a right mess of Chaminda's figures by driving him through cover for four before tickling a single to nick the strike.

From Tim Cross, TMS inbox: "I'd have to back up J Miller's claims after watched him in practice. He's been chatting extremely well in the nets and with some good time in the middle could become one of our best one day chatsmen. We'll take plenty of positives from it whatever happens though, of course."

8th over: NZ 10-2
Fulton goes on the attack against Maha, leaning back to pull him over square leg for the first four of the match. He's then smacked on the front pad only half a stride forward. Billy Doctrove turns down the screamed appeal. I woulda given that.

7th over: NZ 6-2
Vaas is on fire, metaphorically-speaking. Just one off the over, and he's now boasting figures of 2-2 off four. He's also gone heavy on the sun-cream, smearing the lotion equivalent of a Father Christmas beard on his chops.

6th over: NZ 5-2
Not sure what Fernando did wrong, but Jayawardene's given him a blow. None of that sniggering at the back - you know what I mean. Farveez Maharoof gets a rumble, and every ball he bowls lands just short of a length on off and gets lively. Styro's sneer remains, with eyebrows now also peaking.

5th over: NZ 4-2
Scotty Styris has his sneer full on - it's like Rio Ferdinand's oscillating lip at the very top of its arc. Vaas leaves him pushing hopefully at thin air, and it's another maiden.

From J Miller, TMS inbox: "I'm hoping you'll give me the nod today, Tom - Dirs kept me in the virtual changing rooms yesterday, but I've worked hard in training and I'm 100% ready to make my live text debut."

Well, you'll have to give me some decent chat, J, otherwise I won't be able to put your commen..... oh.....

4th over: NZ 4-2
You can almost smell the pressure in Grenada. Fernando produces a maiden, with Fulton finding this as relaxing as a slow dance with a crocodile.

3rd over: WICKET - Taylor c Sangakkara b Vaas 0, NZ 4-2
Wicket falls

Knock me even bandier - Vaas strikes again! Taylor has a nightmare on his return, pushing hard at one angled across him, getting a thick edge and watching in horror as Sanga takes a sensational one-handed pouch to his right.

2nd over: NZ 4-1
Great first over from Dilhara Fernando, if you ignore the wide - Fulton is beaten all ends up by two rippers snaking past his off-stump.

From Ryan Groch, London, TMS inbox: "Ben Dirs usually complains that you get all the best matches - does this mean we can expect a nail-biter today?"

I refer you to the first over, Ryan.

1st over: WICKET Fleming lbw Vaas 0, NZ 1-1
Wicket falls

Knock me bandy - what a start! Skipper Fleming is almost lbw first ball to Chaminda V, shuffles across to the next left-arm over in-dipper and is trapped bango in front.

1415 GMT:
Pitch looks pretty grassless in Grenada. Shame that Slinga's missing for Sri Lanka, but Farveez Maharoof could be useful with his medium poppers. Wonder if Wunderkind Ross Taylor's form's up to it too. Shame to miss out on Hamish Marshall's barnet, of course, but what can you do?

1400 GMT:
Tell you what - I'm looking forward to this one like you wouldn't believe. Chat from Grenada is that Stephen Fleming has won the toss and decided to have a joust with the bat.

Sri Lanka: W U Tharanga, S T Jayasuriya, D P M D Jayawardene (capt), K C Sangakkara (wk), L P C Silva, T M Dilshan, R P Arnold, W P U J C Vaas, M F Maharoof, C R D Fernando, M Muralitharan

New Zealand: P G Fulton, S P Fleming (capt), R L Taylor, S B Styris, C D McMillan, J D P Oram, B B McCullum (wk), D L Vettori, J E C Franklin, S E Bond, M R Gillespie

Umpires: B R Doctrove, Asad Rauf


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