January 24, 2015
The 5th ODI between New Zealand and Sri Lanka took place in Dunedin, a beautiful town on the South Island.
Sri Lanka needed to win to keep their hopes alive in this series, they could not have asked for a better start when off the first ball Martin Guptill was caught behind for a duck.
New Zealand continued getting themselves in a spot of bother early on as Sri Lanka looked to be in total control reducing the hosts to 93-5. This is when Grant Elliot & Luke Ronchi got together at the crease. These two led the comeback in fine fashion with Ronchi the aggressor and Elliot playing a more sensible knock.
What started as momentum ended in a world-record, these two both raced to hundreds in front of the Dunedin crowd who were in awe of what they were watching. Luke Ronchi timing of a cricket ball was a joy to be hold, he seemed to effortlessly to fine the ropes on a regular basis on his way to 170 off 122 balls. Grant Elliot finished with 104 off 96 balls in an equally as important knock. Both men shared the match of the match for their efforts!
Thirimanne and Dilshan used up plenty of balls setting a foundation in the chase, making it obvious to us Sri Lanka’s plan to keep wickets and attack in the closing stages of the innings. There was glimpses of aggression in the Powerplay, Dilshan played a number of classic cover drives on his way to his 20th ODI century. The New Zealand bowlers made going tough as their accurate bowling built up pressure, which eventually took its toll and Sri Lanka tumbled.
Thirimanne eventually fell for 45 off 65 balls, pulling a gentle Elliott half-tracker to fine leg, immediately after a drinks break. Elliot picked up his second wicket of the match when Sangakkara played a rash shot to depart for 9.
Jayawardene came in at four and made 30 alongside Dilshan in a partnership of 70. When he fell, Sri Lanka were a bit behind the rate hence why Kulasekara got promoted up the order to five to gain some quick runs. That failed, as Dilshan played one too many big shots and was caught by Nathan Mccullum off McClenaghan for a fine knock off 116.
Kulasekara was next to go and he was out for just 3, Sri Lanka were effectively beaten. The last eight wickets tumbled within eight overs, and the visitors were bowled out for 252, with more than six overs still to play.