New Zealand should be very proud of convincing first win against Sri Lanka - Daniel Vettori

New Zealand players celebrate another wicket against Sri Lanka

Daniel Vettori reflects on New Zealand’s convincing first win, on their World Cup, against Sri Lanka in Cardiff.

“People will say you can’t read too much into one early victory but New Zealand have every right to be exceptionally proud of their win over Sri Lanka.

It’s the perfect start in so many ways, not just with performance and result, but the margin of victory, too.

You always talk late in the group about net run rate being important but with savvy teams, a game like this early on can make things so much easier.

The New Zealand team is always grounded and that’s a lot to do with Kane Williamson’s ethos and the way of thinking that he instils into the team.

But they should be proud of a game that ticked every box – the back-ups performed well and they did it comfortably, so confidence should be high.

Sri Lanka have been struggling and the last thing they would have wanted was Matt Henry bowling like that up top, he was perfect first up for New Zealand.

He had a tough warm-up game so to come back like that is very impressive, he would have had some nerves going into it, but he knows how well he can perform in those conditions.

Three wickets early on is a great settler, for him and the team, and it allowed New Zealand to go forward with their normal game plan.

Matt’s been around for a while, he’s experienced enough to know that warm-up matches can be moved on from very quickly and he’d have taken a lot of confidence from seeing the surface.

We’ve come to expect a strong performance from New Zealand as a team, that bowling attack has really learnt and developed their roles and it’s paying off.

With the bat, Colin Munro probably wouldn’t have played this game had Henry Nicholls been fit but for him to come in and perform, that’s a big boost for him. We know what a quality player he is and his ability in t20 cricket, and he’s translating that into the one-day format.

There’s a real confidence in that top four and rightly so, they’ve been there and been successful for a long time and they’re able to produce match-winning innings.

They’re the guys who will take New Zealand where they go in this tournament, if they can perform and be big match-winners, that’s something that holds them in good stead.

It’s Bangladesh next up at The Oval and conditions will play a big part in that game, it should be a pretty good wicket and New Zealand lost to them a couple of years ago in the Champions Trophy so it will be a test.


It will be a more free-scoring game with the Oval wicket but for New Zealand, having a win under their belt will give them a massive amount of confidence.

Away from New Zealand, everyone is talking about that Ben Stokes catch and rightly so.

But I agree with Moeen Ali and Eoin Morgan – if he was stood on the boundary, he’d have caught it easily!

It was an amazing catch, and they’re happening more and more regularly in the game now with so many amazing fielders.

Stokes is such a talent – a lot of guys are in this competition so I reckon we can look out for a lot more efforts like that.



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