Auckland, Mar 25 Sri Lanka’s World Cup chances suffered a huge blow after heavy defeat at the hands of New Zealand in the first ODI in a three-match series here on Saturday.
New Zealand beat Sri Lanka by 198 runs to go 1-0 up in the series. This is the biggest win by Black Caps over Lanka in terms of runs in men’s ODIs.
This was their heaviest loss against New Zealand by the margin of runs in this format, and fifth-heaviest defeat overall.
This loss further jeopardized Sri Lanka’s quest for a direct qualification. They are placed 10th in the Super League standings, with 77 points and two more games to play.
Only the top eight sides in the Super League get a direct qualification to the World Cup, which will take place later this year in India.
Even if Sri Lanka win the next two ODIs in the series, they will have to bank on other results for a direct qualification.
With this win New Zealand have topped the MRF Tyres ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League standings. They have 160 points from 22 games.
If they manage a 3-0 sweep in the series, they will overtake Australia, to go no. 1 on the MRF Tyres ICC Men’s ODI Team Rankings.
Sri Lanka skipper Dasun Shanaka took the field after winning the toss. New Zealand got going at the back of crucial top-order contributions from Finn Allen (51) and co.
Despite losing a flurry of wickets in the middle overs, the Kiwis got to 274 with the help of some lower-order hitting from Glenn Phillips (39) and Rachin Ravindra (49).
Chamika Karunaratne was the pick of Sri Lanka bowlers with his 4/43.
Sri Lanka’s top-order was wrecked, thanks to a destructive spell from fast bowler Henry Shipley (5/31). They lost half their side in the first 10 overs and never recovered, eventually getting bowled out for 76.