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Sri Lanka v New Zealand
Grenada, 12 April 2007

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Scott Styris
Styris held the Black Caps together after a poor start
New Zealand centurion Scott Styris believes his side will qualify for the semi-finals of the World cup despite the six-wicket defeat by Sri Lanka.

Styris hit 111 not out before Sri Lanka reached their target of 220 with ease.

Styris said: "We're still in a good position. We've got the advantage of having had a game on this wicket which will help us in the two we have left.

"If we learn our lessons from this match and put them into operation then we should still be OK."

New Zealand were 4-2 at one stage, with Chaminda Vaas removing captain Stephen Fleming and Ross Taylor for ducks. And despite Styris' efforts, their final total of 219 never looked enough on a good batting track.

Styris said: "It was our lack of runs that did for us in the end, and we then lost wickets all the way through which stunted our momentum.

"We thought that if we took wickets early on we might be in with a chance, but it wasn't to be.

The secret on a pitch like today was probably not to thrash at the ball

Scott Styris

"The secret on a pitch like today was probably not to thrash at the ball and to be patient, but we weren't able to do that.

"To give credit to them, they're a good bowling side and they performed very well again."

New Zealand skipper Stephen Fleming admitted protecting his side's run-rate by delaying the second and third powerplays had been a factor in his decision-making during Sri Lanka's innings.

"The first 20 overs, we fumbled our way through when we needed a great start. From then on, it was a fine balance between trying to put pressure on them and looking after our run-rate," he said.

"It's a fine line. You could lose 30 or 40 runs just like that in a tight game and that's going to affect the run-rate massively down the track.

"I wasn't willing to take the 10 overs of powerplay and lose the game in the 38th over, when we could stretch it out for another eight overs."

He added: "You're dumb if you don't [think about the run-rate]. As a captain, you have to look at all scenarios, but by no means was there a question of giving the game up."

Fleming praised Sri Lanka, describing their bowling attack as "the toughest in the world at the moment".

He added: "The whole way through, they stunted any momentum we had."

Keeper Brendon McCullum has been fined 20% of his match fee for shaking his head after being adjudged lbw by umpire Asad Rauf.

"There is a thin line between disappointment and dissent and Brendon crossed that line," match referee Mike Procter commented.

"We must all be conscious of the fact that this is the biggest tournament in the game with a huge audience and so every player and official must adopt the highest standards of behaviour at all times."

SEE ALSO
New Zealand - Players to watch
22 Feb 07 |  New Zealand
New Zealand World Cup squad
15 Feb 07 |  New Zealand
BBC World Cup coverage
21 Feb 07 |  Cricket
Cricket World Cup 2007 schedule
20 Jul 05 |  Cricket


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