New Zealand v Sri Lanka, 1st Test, Napier [3/04/05]

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Amjid Javed

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After being battered by the Australians over the last few months, Stephen Fleming and his team at last have an opportunity to engage in a battle among equals. The first match of the two-Test series against Sri Lanka will offer an indication of what the New Zealand players have learnt from that baptism against Australia; it will show if those experiences have hardened them for future battles, or if the constant hammerings have taken the fight out of them.

If it's the latter, then Sri Lanka have the firepower to make them pay. In the absence of Muttiah Muralitharan, the bowling attack is nowhere near as fierce as Australia's, but in Chaminda Vaas the Lankans have a canny bowler capable of exploiting to the hilt any assistance in the conditions. For proof, jog your mind back to his exploits at the same venue in 1995, when Vaas outdid New Zealand's fast bowlers in seamer-friendly conditions to give Sri Lanka their first overseas win. Ten years on Vaas's pace has dipped, but he remains a dangerous exponent of seam and swing bowling. He will have handy support, too, in Lasith Malinga and Ruchira Perera, who makes a comeback after correcting a suspect bowling action.

Sri Lanka's strength, though, is their batting. Marvan Atapattu, Sanath Jayasuriya, Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene make for a formidable top four – Atapattu's solid technique is the ideal foil for Jayasuriya's flamboyance, while Sangakkara has grown in stature enormously as a wicketkeeper-batsman in the last couple of years. Jayawardene's temperament has often been questioned, but there's little doubt about his talent.

In comparison, New Zealand's cupboard appears bare. Mark Richardson's retirement has left a gaping hole at the top of the order, and Fleming's effort to fill the breach was a spectacular failure. He will drop back to his more preferred No. 3 position, but what should give him more cheer is his record against Sri Lanka – 946 runs at an average of more than 72. Hamish Marshall's consistent performances were the only bright spot against Australia, and against a lesser bowling attack, he has an excellent opportunity to further strengthen his claims for a long-term middle-order berth.

As always, New Zealand have been beset by injury worries once more. Daniel Vettori, their in-form bowler over the last few months, has been ruled out of the first Test with a sore back, while Scott Styris, Jacob Oram, Ian Butler and Darryl Tuffey are all out of action as well. The slew of injuries means a return to Test cricket for Kyle Mills, who was included in the XI which was announced on the eve of the match. Iain O'Brien has been named 12th man.

New Zealand 1 Craig Cumming, 2 James Marshall, 3 Stephen Fleming (capt), 4 Hamish Marshall, 5 Nathan Astle, 6 Lou Vincent, 7 Brendon McCullum (wk), 8 Paul Wiseman, 9 Kyle Mills, 10 James Franklin, 11 Chris Martin.

Sri Lanka (probable) 1 Marvan Atapattu (capt), 2 Sanath Jayasuriya, 3 Kumar Sangakkara (wk), 4 Mahela Jayawardene, 5 Tillakaratne Dilshan, 6 Thilan Samaraweera, 7 Farveez Maharoof, 8 Chaminda Vaas, 9 Rangana Herath, 10 Lasith Malinga, 11 Ruchira Perera.

game starts GMT 2230
 
day 1 - close

New Zealand 1st innings R M B 4 6
CD Cumming lbw b Vaas 12 57 45 2 0
JAH Marshall c Samaraweera b Chandana 52 200 147 5 0
HJH Marshall not out 133 206 17 2
*SP Fleming b Malinga 16 53 36 3 0
NJ Astle not out 37 80 4 0
Extras (b 4, lb 3, nb 10) 17
Total (3 wickets, 84 overs) 267

To Bat: JEC Franklin, CS Martin, KD Mills, +BB McCullum,
L Vincent, PJ Wiseman.

FoW: 1-35 (Cumming, 13.6 ov), 2-142 (JAH Marshall, 47.6 ov),
3-187 (Fleming, 62.4 ov).

Bowling O M R W
Vaas 18 3 63 1 (7nb)
Malinga 14 4 37 1 (2nb)
Kulasekara 17 5 38 0
Herath 13 2 48 0
Chandana 18 2 61 1 (1nb)
Jayasuriya 3 1 8 0
Dilshan 1 0 5 0

marshall twins lead new zealands strong start
 
Amjid did you get a chance to see the match?
 
Romali_rotti said:
What do you guys think of MALINGA????

pretty decent bowler, very weird action. however his slingy action allows him to bowl very good yorkers and an even better bouncer.
 
marshall twins

059417.jpg
 
New Zealand 561
Sri Lanka 48/0

close day 2

marshall 160, astle 114, mcullum 99
 
RH said:
Seems like a placid wicket

sri lanka 351/3

close day 3 ;)+ ;)+

good call

128 for attapatu and 110* jayawardena
 
New Zealand 561 & 123/5 (52.4 ov)
Sri Lanka 498 New Zealand lead by 186 runs with 5 wickets remaining

New Zealand RR: 2.34


Minimum overs
remaining today: 67.2

day 5 looks good sri lanka could win this
 
they been doin this ona regular basis .. they do Good in the first innings then in the secomd inning jus fold out
 
New Zealand 561 & 175/7 (72.3 ov)
Sri Lanka 498
New Zealand lead by 238 runs with 3 wickets remaining

New Zealand RR: 2.41


Minimum overs
remaining today: 47.3

looks like draw
 
dont blame nz playing for draw but i do think they r the most negative team in world cricket
 
new zealand 238 all out

sri lanka 7/0

superb bowling by malinga and if it wasnt for butter fingered fielders they may have been able to have forced a win.

very brave 41 by fleming who may have a broken hand saved the day.
 
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