World Cup: Karunaratne critical of Cardiff pitch after Sri Lanka thrashing

Sri Lanka's opening World Cup game ended in a heavy defeat to New Zealand and skipper Dimuth Karunaratne was not impressed.

New Zealand openers Martin Guptill and Colin Munro looked at ease as they chased down the target without losing a wicket.   -  Getty Images

Sri Lanka captain Dimuth Karunaratne called on tournament organisers to prepare better batting wickets after his side's World Cup campaign got off to a shambolic start in Cardiff.

Opener Karunaratne carried his bat with a stubborn 52 not out in a total of 136 all out on a green track but his efforts proved in vain as New Zealand cruised to a 10-wicket victory thanks to Martin Guptill (73 not out) and Colin Munro (58no).

The match lasted a little over 45 overs although little comparison should be drawn with Friday's game at Trent Bridge when a 35-over contest between West Indies and Pakistan was largely due to the latter's rank batting.

Nevertheless, Karunaratne believes the wicket at Sophia Gardens favoured the side bowling first, especially given the 10.30am start time.

Speaking at the post-match presentation, he said: "I think it was a good toss to win and unfortunately I was on the losing side.

"In the morning it seams and swings quite a bit and they had that advantage and they have good bowlers to do that.

"In the World Cup we need to see some good batting wickets. Everyone is coming to watch good entertaining cricket so hopefully we'll get some good batting wickets."

matt henry

Matt Henry struck in the first over, by trapping Lahiru Thirimanne on the second ball of the innings on a green top at the Sophia Gardens. He then dismissed Kusal Perera, who was looking dangerous, and Kusal Mendis off the next ball to reduce Sri Lanka to 46-3 in the ninth over.   -  Getty Images


However, New Zealand opening pair of Martin Guptill and Colin Munro had appeared relatively untroubled in guiding the Black Caps to victory inside 16.1 overs.

And New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson unsurprisingly felt the pitch was perfectly adequate.

Asked if he had a problem with it, he replied: "No, no problem at all.

"With the new ball in both innings you can expect some movement and when you're able to bowl a side out for a lowish total then naturally it's going to be tough to defend.

"Guys are going to come out and play shots and all of a sudden a ball that's full and doing a little bit doesn't become as threatening because the cricket's not conventional.

"I thought it [the pitch] offered a little bit but it was lowish movement so it was one of those surfaces that if you could see off the old ball you could get a few more.

"It stopped doing much for us towards the back end but we were fortunate to get early wickets and bowl them out."

Williamson reserved special praise for Munro, whose place has come under scrutiny following a poor run of form.

"He played with some freedom," he added. "He came in and played his shots and made a really good contribution for the side."

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