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McClenaghan rips through Sri Lankan lineup as Blackcaps win

The Blackcaps have taken a 1-0 lead over Sri Lanka thanks large in part to Mitchell McClenaghan and Corey Anderson.

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After Sri Lanka surprised many by electing to bat first, Blackcaps bowlers performed well and restricted the dangerous Sri Lankan batting lineup to a pedestrian total of 218.

Mahela Jayawardene was the only real stand out batsmen for Sri Lanka.

Jayawardene showed his batting class once again with a superb score of 104 as the former Sri Lankan captain played many roles during his innings. Jayawardene was not only aggressive when needed, but he also took to some risky platform shots which sent the ball over behind the slip cordon and was also at times a big anchor to the innings as wickets were falling around him.

Adam Milne picked up 2 wickets while Mitchell McClenaghan put in one of his best performances as a bowler for the Blackcaps in ODI cricket, taking 4 wickets including a triple-wicket maiden over.

The run chase got off to a fiery start as Brendon McCullum smashed 51 off just 22 balls on his return to the top of the order.

With an RRPO of just 4 per over, McCullum’s quick run scoring came in handy later on in the innings as wickets quickly began to fall after his dismissal.

With the Blackcaps in a little trouble following a quick succession of wickets, Corey Anderson played arguably his most mature innings yet for the Blackcaps, scoring 81 and batting together with Nathan McCullum to bring the Blackcaps home to victory.

There are two main points of concern for the Blackcaps from this run chase.

Martin Guptill was dismissed on just his third delivery after playing so well for the Auckland Aces recently, and also Grant Elliott only managed a single run before being bowled as he tried to cut a ball that was too close to his body, he too coming off recent success in domestic cricket.

Not a brilliant performance with the bat undoubtably, and if Sri Lanka had have gotten perhaps 50 more runs this match could well have been a different story.

But the Blackcaps bowlers stood up today and as competition for spots in the bowling lineup in particular heats up, Mitchell McClenaghan will go to sleep tonight knowing he could have just staked his claim for preferential bowling choice in the World Cup.

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