Sanath Jayasuriya and Chaminda Vaas produced breathtaking performances with the bat and the ball respectively to help Sri Lanka record a massive 189-run win in the fourth ODI at Auckland. New Zealand chasing a gettable 262 under lights were dismissed for a paltry 73 with their innings lasting just 26.3 overs.
Earlier in the afternoon, Sanath Jayasuriya’s rapid 44-ball 70 ended was wasted by the Sri Lankans who could end up with only 262 for 6 wickets. It is another matter that NZ wasn’t good enough today to cash onto that lapse from the Sri Lankan batting. Jayasuriya’s innings was powered with 7 fours and 5 sixes. On course of his innings he grabbed the record for having the most number of sixes in an ODI career. The opening stand with Upul Tharanga was 102 in over 15 overs with the younger left hander struggling to score his 22 which had come in 50 balls. Kumar Sangakkara was the top scorer of the day with 79 which had come at a moderate rate in 103 balls with 8 fours and a six. Sri Lanka had slipped to 103 for 3 from 102 for no loss at one stage. The repair work was done by former Captain Marvan Atapattu along with Sangakkara with the two putting on 91. Atapattu took his time to score his 34 which had come in 75 balls! Farveez Maharoof’s 21 from 11 had been a good finisher of the innings. Among the bowlers, Mark Gillespie bowled well for his 3 for 39 which included the wickets of Jayasuriya and Jayawardene in the same over. Shane Bond on his return to the side took two for 47 in 10.
The New Zealand innings was off to a disastrous start and it continued all the way until they got all out. The Home Umpire Gary Baxter had to give a number of lbw decisions as the Kiwis struggled to cope up with the incoming deliveries. Most of the batsmen were playing along the wrong line with their frontfoot planted across the line. Chaminda Vaas ripped the top order with three wickets, all of them being leg before the wicket which also included Stephen Fleming who was duck out. Lasith Malinga who bowled the second over of the innings was replaced by Farveez Maharoof for the fourth over and the latter was caned by Brendon McCullum. Maharoof got one of his deliveries on line which was enough to get the inside edge of McCullum, it was a great catch from Kumar Sangakkara. Craig McMillan was the only Kiwi who could accomplish something with the bat; a 29 not out from 64 balls with 5 fours as he watched the wickets going down at the other end. Lasith Malinga also chipped in with three wickets while Murali got a couple of them having bowled 15 balls in the match.
The Player of the Match had gone to Sanath Jayasuriya. Chaminda Vaas had deserved it too but had to miss out despite his 3/10 in 8 overs!