In match 3 of ICC cricket world cup 2019, New Zealand paceman Matt Henry led an inspired bowling unit to run through Sri Lanka's batting and power the Black Caps to a 10-wicket win in their World Cup opener on Saturday. Henry returned figures of 3-29 and combined with fellow paceman Lockie Ferguson who also took three wickets to bowl out Sri Lanka for 136 in 29.2 overs in Cardiff. Martin Guptill and Colin Munro then struck unbeaten half-centuries to make short work of their modest target. The Kiwis cruised home in 16.1 overs to register their third win in a World Cup game by 10 wickets. The right-left batting combination of Guptill, who hit 73, and Munro, who scored 58, had little trouble in smashing the Sri Lankan bowlers to all parts of the ground. Guptill hammered eight fours and two sixes including one hit that sailed out of the ground. But it was Henry's spell of seven straight overs that opened the gates for New Zealand's domination against the 1996 champions.
Check 2019 CWC Points table hereICC cricket World Cup 2019: New Zealand vs Sri Lanka full scorecardIHenry stood out in the absence of senior paceman Tim Southee, who missed the game due to a calf injury, with his incisive pace and swing.
He struck with the second delivery of the game to send Lahiru Thirimanne trudging back to the pavilion after the left-handed opener had hit a boundary from the first ball.
Thirimanne was initially ruled not out by the on-field umpire, but the Kiwis successfully reviewed the lbw call in their favour after replays suggested the ball pitched on line and would have hit the batsman's leg stump.
The left-handed Karunaratne, who has returned to the one-day side after a gap of four years, then put on 42 runs for the second wicket with Kusal Perera.
But Williamson kept Henry on for the bowler's fifth over and the move paid off as he got Perera for 29 and Kusal Mendis without scoring on successive deliveries. Dhananjaya de Silva played the hat-trick ball with a glorious off drive, but soon fell to the pace of Lockie Ferguson after being trapped lbw.
Sri Lanka skipper Dimuth Karunaratne stood out amid the ruins with his unbeaten 52 including a 52-run stand with Thisara Perera, who made 27 off 23 balls, to give his team's total some respect.
The rest of the batting showed little promise with three scores of nought in the innings including from former captain Angelo Mathews.
Karunaratne registered his third ODI fifty in 81 balls as he ran out of partners after Lasith Malinga was bowled by Ferguson for one.
Pacemen Colin de Grandhomme, James Neesham, Trent Boult and the team's only spinner in the XI Mitchell Santner claimed a wicket each.
The Black Caps, runners-up in the 2015 edition, will next face Bangladesh on June 5 in London.
Here's what Dimuth Karunaratne said after the toss
I would have bowled as well. We wanted to take advantage. Jeffrey Vandersay, Milinda Siriwardana, Nuwan Pradeep, Avishka Fernando are not playing. We don't have much pressure. We want to do well. We want to show what we can do.
Here's what Kane Williamson said after the toss
Kane Williamson: We are gonna have a bowl. It's a fresh wicket with a green tinge. Blundell is out. It's a day-by-day thing. Quite not ready today. Just a one spinner and two all-rounders. That helps with the balance. For us it's about adapting.
TOSS ALERT: Sri Lanka to bat first
New Zealand captain Kane Williamson flips the coin and Sri Lanka captain calls heads but it is tails. New Zealand win the toss and elect to bowl on green pitch
"New Zealand will be quite happy with what they see. There's good, even covering of grass. A fresh pitch. They leave grass to keep pace on the pitch. If they shave, it tends to dry. If anything, it comes onto the bat. Today, it's gonna be about skill, pitching it up and nibbling it around," reckons Nasser Hussain during pitch report at Sophia Gardens in Cardiff
Key stats ahead of New Zealand vs Sri Lanka clash
Sri Lanka have the lowest win percentage (28.24) since the last World Cup among the 10 participating teams in this edition. They are 0-4 in games at Cardiff
Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor share a prolific average partnership of 90.11 in the UK. Their last six stands here read: 121, 206, 101, 99, 95 & 83
In the ODIs since April 2015, Sri Lanka have lost the most wickets (132) while New Zealand have taken the joint-most number of wickets (120) in the first PowerPlay
Key players for New Zealand
Against India, Trent Boult and Jimmy Neesham impressed with the ball while in the warm-up game against Windies , it was Tom Blundell -- yet to play a one-day international -- who hit an 89-ball 106 and showed promise. Apart from that, skipper Kane Williamson is also in great form.
Cardiff pitch and weather prediction
Cardiff experienced a wet and cold spell since the Bank Holiday Monday but the weather cleared up two days out from the game. Saturday is forecast to be the warmest day of the week, with a high of 20 degrees Celsius and only a 10% chance of rain. The conditions will assist seamers with the morning start. The pitch traditionally slows down a touch through the game and could bring the spinners into the game in the afternoon.
Here is the playing 11 prediction of both the teams
New Zealand playing 11: Martin Guptill, Colin Munro, Kane Williamson (c), Ross Taylor, Tom Latham (wk), James Neesham, Colin de Grandhomme, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee/Ish Sodhi, Trent Boult, Lockie Ferguson
Sri Lanka playing 11: Dimuth Karunaratne (c), Lahiru Thirimanne, Kusal Mendis, Kusal Perera (wk), Angelo Mathews, Dhananjaya de Silva, Jeevan Mendis, Thisara Perera, Isurua Udana, Nuwan Pradeep/Suranga Lakmal, Lasith Malinga
A daunting task ahead: Sri Lanka captain
Karunaratne realises that he has a daunting task ahead.
"It is not easy when you don't know the players and they haven't played a single game in a long time. Even me, I came back into the side after four years so it is not easy.
"But if you get a chance you need to prove yourself. Every time you need to be hungry. Those new players who want to do well, they want to perform to stay in the team.
"I also have some experienced guys that have played World Cups before and they are key if you want to do well, you need those kind of players."
Karunaratne, who led Sri Lanka to historic Test series in South Africa earlier this year, skippers a squad that includes six players who have 80 or more ODI caps to their name including veteran and until recently captain Lasith Malinga.
But there are a number of new faces on board as well, including Avishka Fernando and Isuru Udana, and that inexperience could work in their favour, according to the captain.
"No-one seems to remember the domestic level of games. All the other guys who have played in the last couple of years failed to perform for Sri Lanka," added Karunaratne, who has not decided if he will open or bat at No.3 on Saturday.
"That is why the selectors want to give a new chance to the players who have done well domestically. That was the past. We have a good side with fresh faces, and are trying to start again
Here are the squad of both the teams
New Zealand world cup squad: Kane Williamson (c), Tom Blundell, Trent Boult, Colin de Grandhomme, Lockie Ferguson, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Tom Latham, Colin Munro, Jimmy Neesham, Henry Nicholls, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor
Sri Lanka world cup squad: Dimuth Karunaratne (c), Avishka Fernando, Suranga Lakmal, Lasith Malinga, Angelo Mathews, Jeevan Mendis, Kusal Mendis (wk), Kusal Perera (wk), Thisara Perera, Nuwan Pradeep, Dhananjaya de Silva, Milinda Siriwardana, Lahiru Thirimanne, Isuru Udana, Jeffrey Vandersay.
Sangakkara gives advice to Sri Lanka ahead of today's match
New Sri Lanka skipper Dimuth Karunaratne said his struggling side has received timely advice from former greats including Kumar Sangakkara ahead of their World Cup opener against New Zealand. Sri Lanka, who won the tournament in 1996 before making consecutive finals in 2007 and 2011, enter the 2019 edition on a difficult recent run of form.
They are ranked ninth among the ten teams competing here in England and Wales, have been whitewashed 5-0 four times in three years. They called up Karunaratne to skipper the side, despite the opener not playing an ODI for his country in four years.
But the likes of Arjuna Ranatunga captain of the 1996 champions and Kumar Sangakkara have given this squad their backing.
"Sanga came and gave us some words of advice which was really helpful, he did really well in the last World Cup so it was useful to hear how he prepared, mentally and everything else," he said here on Friday.
New Zealand will look to leave behind the thrashing against West Indies and aim for a positive start to their World Cup campaign when they take on Sri Lanka at the Cardiff Wales Stadium on Saturday.
The Black Caps were taken for plenty by the West Indies in their final warm-up match where they squandered 421 runs and eventually lost the match by 91 runs.
However, they would take a lot of confidence from their first outing against India where they bundled out the Men in Blue for 179 before chasing down their total with six wickets to spare.
Against India, Trent Boult and Jimmy Neesham impressed with the ball while against Windies, it was Tom Blundell -- yet to play a one-day international -- who hit an 89-ball 106 and showed promise. Apart from that, skipper Kane Williamson is also in great form.
For Sri Lanka, their tournament preparations have been not been ideal as they lost both of their warm-up fixtures against South Africa and Australia.
If there was any positive for Sri Lanka in those two matches, it was the half centuries hit by newly appointed skipper Dimuth Karunaratne and the wise old head of Angelo Matthews.
The 1996 champions are in dire need of motivation and captain Karunaratne himself has to inspire the unit. The left-hander, who had scored his maiden test hundred against the Black Caps in 2014, could be the glue that holds the Sri Lankan batting together. He will have the support of veteran pacer Lasith Malinga who can instil confidence into the team, both with his bowling and experience.