In their World Cup match at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium on Thursday, New Zealand limited Sri Lanka to 171 with crucial strikes from seamer Trent Boult and spinner Mitchell Santner.
Sri Lanka has to win to improve their chances of finishing in the top eight and qualifying for the 2025 Champions Trophy. New Zealand must win to secure a significant win to join India, South Africa, and Australia in the semifinals.
After winning the toss, New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson elected to bowl, and it soon paid off as pacemen Boult (3-37) and Tim Southee (1-52) tore through Sri Lanka’s top order, leaving them struggling at 32-3 in just five overs.
Kusal Perera punished New Zealand by scoring 50 points off 22 balls after Tom Latham dropped him for zero in the second over. Still, he also lost a partner when Boult caught Charith Asalanka for a leg-before wicket to turn the tables on the 1996 world champions.
After Santner (2-22) and Rachin Ravindra (2-21) joined the fray, Lockie Ferguson (2-35), who had recovered from injury, dismissed the belligerent Perera for 51 in his second over as Sri Lanka fell to 70-5. The team eventually folded for a minor score in the 47th over.