Sri Lanka, hitting 48 off 27 balls and having to retire as New Zealand won their warm-up T20 match against Sri Lanka Cricket President’s XI by 33 runs yesterday.New Zealand batting first totalled 168-6 and restricted the SLC President’s XI to 135-9.Munro’s was the first wicket to fall, but by then, he’d been responsible for nearly 70% of the New Zealanders’ total and had put them comfortably ahead of the game. That luxury eventually proved a necessity because, having opted to bat, the visitors slipped from 69 for 0 to 84 for 3 as legspinner Wanindu Hasaranga gave them a reminder of the kind of problems they will face when the T20I series begins in Pallekele on Sunday.
Ross Taylor was able to shore up the batting with a very brisk half-century but there may be concern that the rest of the batsmen – notably Martin Guptill who needed 24 balls to make only 22 – had left their work only half done.The bowling, however, was top notch. Four of the six men that the captain Tim Southee used conceded less than six runs an over, including himself. Scott Kuggeleijn did the most damage, picking up three of the first four wickets to fall, by which time the Sri Lankan President’s XI had only made 37 runs in 8.1 overs, effectively ending the contest.