Martin Guptill smashed the first international century of the calendar year and Jimmy Neesham made a dream return as New Zealand crushed Sri Lanka by 45 runs in the first ODI in Tauranga on Thursday.
Guptill hit 138 off just 139 balls, captain Kane Williamson scored 74 and Neesham smashed 47 off just 13 deliveries as New Zealand raced to 371/7 in their 50 overs.
Neesham, recalled after 18 months in the international wilderness, then took 3-38 as Sri Lanka were bowled out for 326 in 49 overs.
Free-scoring Sri Lankan openers Niroshan Dickwella (76) and Danushka Gunathilaka (43) had been on track to chase down the target when they reached 119 off 17 overs.
But Neesham came into the attack and he had Gunathilaka caught behind and Dickwella bowled in the space of four deliveries.
Kusal Perera (102) hit a ton for Sri Lanka but he did not get the necessary support from the rest of the batting order.
The second match in the three-match series is at the same venue on Saturday.
Faf du Plessis now knows his team cannot qualify for the semi-finals of the Cricket World Cup.
Sarfaraz Ahmed hailed the impact of three of his seam bowlers during Sunday’s win over South Africa at Lord’s.
“This game was important for us. It didn’t go as planned…”
Morgan admitted his frustration after his side fell short against Sri Lanka at Headingley on Friday.
Jofra Archer believes that England’s shock defeat to Sri Lanka can serve as a motivation for the team moving forward.
New Zealand beat West Indies by five runs. What a day.
A show of bravado from the Aussies? Unthinkable…