Hosts Australia, NZ off to flying start with big wins

MELBOURNE, Australia, CMC – Joint hosts Australia and New Zealand kicked off their Cricket World Cup campaigns in style with convincing victories before their respective home crowds on Saturday.

Playing before a sell-out crowd at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, the Aussies powered to a commanding 111-run win over arch-rivals England while at Hagley Park in Christchurch, the Black Caps trounced Sri Lanka by 98 runs.

Both contests proved lopsided in the end, with both England and Sri Lanka appearing lethargic.

At the MCG, the Aussies were propelled by opener Aaron Finch’s brilliant 135 before his home crowd, as they rallied to 342 for nine off their allotted 50 overs.

The hosts were slumping at 70 for three in the 11th over before Finch combined with captain George Bailey (55) in a 146-run, fourth wicket stand to pull the innings around.

Finch, a right-hander, slammed 12 fours and three sixes off 128 balls before perishing via the run out route in the 37th over, with the score on 216 for four.

Bailey followed soon after but Glenn Maxwell slammed 66 off 40 balls with 11 fours, to give the innings a fitting climax.

Seamer Steven Finn was England’s best bowler with five for 71.

In reply, England were rocked by seamer Mitchell Marsh and stumbled to 92 for six in the 22nd over, a position from which they never really recovered.

Marsh finished with five for 33 and Mitchell Starc and Mitchell Johnson claimed two wickets apiece as England eventually crumbled for 231 all out in the 42nd over.

James Taylor was the only batsman to show resistance with an unbeaten 98 off 90 balls, with 11 fours and two sixes.

In Christchurch, Corey Anderson (75), captain Brendon McCullum (65) and Kane Williamson (57) all thrashed half-centuries as New Zealand piled up an impressive 331 for six after being sent in.

McCullum, who played a blinder at the top off just 49 balls with ten fours and a six, posted 111 for the first wicket with Martin Guptill, whose 49 was more sedate coming off 62 deliveries.

Williamson and Ross Taylor (14) added 57 for the third wicket and when both fell to leg-spinner Jeevan Mendis off successive deliveries in the 34th over, Anderson and Grant Elliott (29) put on a further 65 for the fifth wicket.

Anderson exploded in the last five overs, hitting eight fours and two sixes overall in a 46-ball cameo, adding 73 for the sixth wicket with wicketkeeper Luke Roncho who finished unbeaten on 29.

Sri Lanka got a cautious start of 67 from Lahiru Thirimanne, who hit 65 off 60 balls and Tillakaratne Dilshan, whose 24 lasted 41 balls.

When Dilshan clipped a tame return catch back to left-arm spinner Daniel Vettori in the 13th over, Thirimanne and Kumar Sangakkara (39) kept Sri Lanka in the hunt with a 57-run, second wicket stand.

However, three wickets – including those of Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene (0) – tumbled for five runs in the space of 11 deliveries to tilt the balance New Zealand’s way, and despite captain Angelo Matthew’s 46, the result was never in dispute.

Scoreboards

Australia Innings
D. Warner b Broad                                                           22
A. Finch run out (Morgan)                                            135
S. Watson c Buttler b Broad                                              0
S. Smith b Woakes                                                             5
G. Bailey b Finn                                                                55
G. Maxwell c Root b Finn                                               66
M. Marsh c Root b Finn                                                  23
B. Haddin c Broad b Finn                                                31
M. Johnson c Anderson b Finn                                        0
M. Starc not out                                                                 0
Extras (lb-2 w-3)                                                               5
Total (for 9 wickets, 50 overs)                                      342
Fall of wickets: 1-57 D. Warner,2-57 S. Watson,3-70 S. Smith,4-216 A. Finch,5-228 G. Bailey,6-281 M. Marsh,7-342 B. Haddin,8-342 G. Maxwell,9-342 M. Johnson Did not bat: J. Hazlewood Bowling J. Anderson 10 – 0 – 67 – 0(w-1) S. Broad 10 – 0 – 66 – 2(w-1) C. Woakes 10 – 0 – 65 – 1 S. Finn 10 – 0 – 71 – 5(w-1) M. Ali 9 – 0 – 60 – 0 J. Root 1 – 0 – 11 – 0

England Innings
M. Ali c Bailey b Starc                                                    10
I. Bell c Starc b M. Marsh                                              36
G. Ballance c Finch b M. Marsh                                     10
J. Root c Haddin b M. Marsh                                          5
E. Morgan c Haddin b M. Marsh                                    0
J. Taylor not out                                                              98
J. Buttler c Smith b M. Marsh                                        10
C. Woakes c Smith b Johnson                                        37
S. Broad b Starc                                                                0
S. Finn c&b Johnson                                                          1
J. Anderson run out (Maxwell)                                        8
Extras (lb-5 w-11)                                                            16
Total (all out, 41.5 overs)                                               231
Fall of wickets: 1-25 M. Ali,2-49 G. Ballance,3-66 I. Bell,4-66 J. Root,5-73 E. Morgan,6-92 J. Buttler,7-184 C. Woakes,8-194 S. Broad,9-195 S. Finn,10-231 J. Anderson Bowling M. Starc 9 – 1 – 47 – 2 J. Hazlewood 6.5 – 0 – 45 – 0(w-3) M. Johnson 8 – 0 – 36 – 2(w-3) M. Marsh 9 – 0 – 33 – 5 S. Watson 3 – 0 – 13 – 0 G. Maxwell 4 – 0 – 33 – 0(w-1) S. Smith 2 – 0 – 19 – 0
New Zealand Innings
M. Guptill c Sangakkara b Lakmal                               49
B. McCullum c J. Mendis b Herath                               65
K. Williamson c Karunaratne b J. Mendis                   57
R. Taylor st Sangakkara b J. Mendis                           14
G. Elliott c Thirimanne b Lakmal                                 29
C. Anderson c Lakmal b N. Kulasekara                        75
L. Ronchi not out                                                              29
Extras (lb-2 nb-3 w-8)                                                   13
Total (for 6 wickets, 50 overs)                                   331
Fall of wickets: 1-111 B. McCullum,2-136 M. Guptill,3-193 K. Williamson,4-193 R. Taylor,5-258 G. Elliott,6-331 C. Anderson Did not bat: D. Vettori, T. Southee, A. Milne, T. Boult Bowling N. Kulasekara 8 – 0 – 78 – 1(w-3) L. Malinga 10 – 0 – 84 – 0(nb-3 w-3) A. Mathews 6 – 0 – 28 – 0 R. Herath 9 – 0 – 37 – 1(w-1) T. Dilshan 5 – 0 – 35 – 0(w-1) S. Lakmal 10 – 0 – 62 – 2 J. Mendis 2 – 0 – 5 – 2

Sri Lanka Innings
L. Thirimanne b Boult                                                      65
T. Dilshan c&b Vettori                                                     24
K. Sangakkara lbw b Boult                                              39
M. Jayawardene c Ronchi b Vettori                                0
D. Karunaratne b Milne                                                   14
A. Mathews c Vettori b Southee                                     46
J. Mendis c Ronchi b Milne                                                4
N. Kulasekara c Elliott b Anderson                                  10
R. Herath c Milne b Anderson                                          13
L. Malinga c Ronchi b Southee                                          0
S. Lakmal not out                                                               7
Extras (nb-1 w-10)                                                           11
Total (all out, 46.1 overs)                                              233
Fall of wickets: 1-67 T. Dilshan,2-124 L. Thirimanne,3-125 M. Jayawardene,4-129 K. Sangakkara,5-163 D. Karunaratne,6-168 J. Mendis,7-196 N. Kulasekara,8-216 A. Mathews,9-217 L. Malinga,10-233 R. Herath Bowling T. Southee 10 – 1 – 43 – 2(w-2) T. Boult 10 – 0 – 64 – 2 A. Milne 10 – 0 – 56 – 2(nb-1 w-3) D. Vettori 10 – 0 – 34 – 2(w-2) G. Elliott 2 – 0 – 11 – 0 K. Williamson 1 – 0 – 7 – 0 C. Anderson 3.1 – 0 – 18 – 2(w-3) Referees Umpire: Marais Erasmus Umpire: Nigel Llong TV

 

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