New Zealand got off to a perfect start in ICC World Cup 2019, crushing Sri Lanka by 10 wickets on a surface that offered assistance to their pacers.
Put in to bat, Sri Lanka just could make any sort of impact with the bat as Matt Henry moved the ball both ways and troubled the Lankan batsmen to finish with figures of 3 for 29 and claim the man of the match award. New Zealand openers Lasith Malinga and Colin Munro then ran riot with half-centuries to take New Zealand home without any damage in the wickets column.
Asked about his plans for the Sri Lankans, Henry admitted that he was pleased to get a green surface and added, "I and Trent made the most of it. We don't get many one day wickets like that, but it's nice when you get one. It is just important you go through your processes and try a few things.
"Not try and fitter too much and it is a long tournament. On a surface like that, we were trying the full length and get them forward with them trying to hit us off our length. You make sure you keep coming in with your plans and hope that the plans would work," he said.
Sri Lanka, at one stage, were reasonably placed at 46 for 1, but soon crumbled under Henry's incisive spell. It was only skipper Dimuth Karunaratne, with an unbeaten 52, and Thisara Perera towards the end who managed to hang around.
Henry admitted the stint he had with Kent last year had a big role in helping him understand the surface and how to extract help out of it. "I really enjoyed my time at Kent last year, we had a lot of success with the white and the red ball. Always nice to come back here," Henry stated.
New Zealand's next challenge will be against Bangladesh at Kennington Oval on June 5.
--By A Cricket Correspondent