New Zealand 315-7 (Ryder 74, Guptill 66) beat
Sri Lanka 277 (Jayawardene 77) by 38 runs
ICC Champions Trophy Group B, Johannesburg
New Zealand kept their ICC Champions Trophy hopes alive by beating Sri Lanka by 38 runs in their Group B encounter in Johannesburg.
Half-centuries from Jesse Ryder and Martin Guptill helped New Zealand reach 315 for seven before Sri Lanka were bowled out for 277.
Ryder hit 74 in 58 balls at the top of the innings and Guptill stroked 66 in 76 balls from number three, helping New Zealand recover from 161 for five to post what was, at the time, the second highest score of the tournament so far.
He added 69 for the sixth wicket with captain Daniel Vettori, who hit 48 and with the batting Power Play taken in the final five overs, James Franklin marked his first ODI appearance in more than two years with 28 not out in 21 balls and Kyle Mills thumped 18 in just six deliveries.
Sri Lanka dropped Muttiah Muralitharan only to see his replacement Thilan Thushara concede 50 runs in seven overs while left-arm spinner Sanath Jayasuriya returned three for 39 and Angelo Mathews took two for 33.
In reply, Tillakaratne Dilshan smacked 41 in 31 balls and Mahela Jayawardene held firm for 85 balls, hitting 77 with six fours and two sixes but his dismissal, in the 39th over, left Sri Lanka too much to do.
Four fours early on from Jayasuriya gave Sri Lanka hope and an opening stand of 66 in 47 balls threw the match wide open but New Zealand fought back by taking wickets at regular intervals, Daryl Tuffey starting things off by having Jayasuriya caught by substitute Jeetan Patel.
Nuwan Kulasekara was left unbeaten on 57 as Kyle Mills picked up three for 69, and Tuffey, Franklin and Daniel Vettori claimed two wickets apiece to cap a fine bowling effort from the Black Caps.
Sri Lanka now must wait on other results to see if they make it to the semi-finals while New Zealand play England in their final group game on 29th September.
© Cricket World 2009