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Page last updated at 17:39 GMT, Friday, 18 March 2011

Cricket World Cup: Sri Lanka thrash New Zealand

World Cup Group A, Mumbai:
Sri Lanka 265-9 (50 overs) bt New Zealand 153 (35 ovs) by 112 runs
Match scorecard

Muttiah Muralitharan celebrates another wicket

Highlights - Sangakarra and Murali see off Kiwis

Captain Kumar Sangakkara scored his first World Cup century and Muttiah Muralitharan took four wickets as Sri Lanka thrashed New Zealand by 112 runs.

Sangakkara (111) and Mahela Jayawardene (66) added 145, after the openers fell cheaply, as Sri Lanka made 265-9.

Muralitharan (4-25) then ran through the Black Caps' middle order as they crumbled from 82-2 to 153 all out.

Sri Lanka will finish second in Group A behind the winner of Saturday's meeting between Australia and Pakistan.

That means Sangakkara's men will face the third-placed side in Group B in Ahmedabad on 24 March, a position currently occupied by Andrew Strauss's England team.

"It was, all-in-all, a fantastic team performance," said man-of-the-match Sangakkara. "It's very satisfying because everyone's played a part.

Murali is a legend, bowling on one leg he bowled so well

Kumar Sangakkara

"The New Zealanders got off to a pretty good start and a couple more partnerships would have made things very difficult for us. We're happy we got through those tough situations."

A Sri Lanka victory looked a long way off when Upul Tharanga and Tillakaratne Dilshan were both removed for three runs each inside the first five overs.

But as they have on so many occasions in all forms of the game, veteran batsmen Sangakkara and Jayawardene dug their team out of a hole with a measured partnership that lasted almost 32 overs.

Tensions flared in the 24th over when Nathan McCullum appeared to take a sharp caught and bowled chance to dismiss Jayawardene for 26.

Umpire Asad Rauf gave the decision not out after consulting with the TV official Amiesh Saheba even though replays appeared to suggest the catch was clean.

McCullum protested angrily to Rauf and New Zealand captain Ross Taylor eventually had to step in to defuse the situation.

We came with hopes of taking momentum into the quarter-finals, but Kumar Sangakkara played us out of the game

Ross Taylor

Jayawardene fell to Tim Southee (3-63) before Sangakkara's 11th one-day century arrived in the 40th over, but his departure two overs later prompted a late flurry of wickets.

Angelo Matthews, the only other batsman to reach double figures, was 41 not out off 35 balls at the end of the innings.

New Zealand dangerman Brendon McCullum was brilliantly caught at slip by Jayawardene early in New Zealand's run chase, with Martin Guptill following in the next over.

Jesse Ryder and Taylor added 49 but after Ajantha Mendis struck to remove Ryder, wickets started to tumble.

Muralitharan twice departed for treatment to a hamstring injury suffered while batting, but returned to snare four victims in an inspirational spell that ripped the heart out of the New Zealand batting order.

"Murali is a legend, bowling on one leg he bowled so well," Sangakkara said.

"We have a few days before the next game, and we hope he will be fully fit for the quarter-finals. We want to make sure he enjoys himself, and we want him to bowl and take wickets."

Lasith Malinga atoned for a wayward and costly new ball burst by taking the last two wickets to round off a comprehensive win.

"We came with hopes of taking momentum into the quarter-finals, but Kumar Sangakkara played us out of the game," said New Zealand captain Ross Taylor.

"We were with the rate the whole way, but Murali bowled really well and we kept losing wickets."

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see also
World Cup photos
18 Mar 11 |  Cricket
NZ beat Canada to reach quarters
13 Mar 11 |  Cricket
Record stand helps Sri Lanka win
10 Mar 11 |  Cricket
Tillakaratne Dilshan World Cup column
10 Mar 11 |  Sri Lanka
Cricket World Cup 2011
09 Mar 11 |  Cricket

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