It was not emphatic, but a victory is victory.
The Sri Lankan attack which allowed 360 and 315 totals by the New Zealand batting line up somehow managed to pull things back when the time was right. Among some mid inning bloopers and hiccups once again, I thought 287 was a tough ask in that wicket. Sri Lanka got thrashed by New Zealand in the recent concluded series and got themselves exposed to some critical weaknesses which needed immediate fixing.
This tour was the Ideal World Cup preparation for Sri Lanka. As New Zealand holds 3 key match ups for Sri Lanka, including a World Cup Opener vs. New Zealand , and mid tournament group games vs. England and Afghanistan.
Word of advise for Sri Lankan cricketers are "learn from your mistakes and utilize the limited knowledge one has on the wickets to better and intelligent use". From the ODI No 7 in Wellington, Sri Lanka took valuable knowledge for their proceedings, their top order batsmen's form continues, along with the middle order crashes. Something we knew all about in 2011 CWC as well.
What was interesting to see nevertheless was Thissara Perera middle a couple. Sri Lanka also proved to them selves that they can win matches in the absence of Mali, Sachi, Rangana and Prasad, and can also win in difficult conditions.
For this team life has never been a bed of roses, in most of mutual tours this team gets humiliated, but come ICC event, they start their vendetta to fall short in the finals, but in the year 2014 the tide was turned around, Won the Asia Cup and the ICC WT20. Sri Lanka's key to winning is to play each and everyone of their key players in every game. Their lack of depth in the squad gives them less breathing space to field the substitutes. It's a mantra they have used for along time and it has worked pretty well for them. I doubt they will divert from that.
Glimpse of hope is seen at the opener dilemma, Thiri and Dilly looks solid and complementing each other very well. Little slow in scoring, but they find ways to go about their business. What would be silly is if the management goes with Dimuth. Kulasekera coming back to much needed form and getting wickets at crucial times are key. With Malinga around the corner and Sachitra Senanayake back in the squad after action clearance gives bowling coaches some good nights sleep. Missing pieces are coming to place at the right time and SL fans should be happy now.
World Cup Group games for SL, we played New Zealand lots before the world cup and a pretty good logic should be in place to give them a opening day world cup blunder, Minnows should be relatively easy to throw under the bus and claim the points. Sri Lanka is lucky we play Australia and England at grounds where Sri Lanka have had good success. Melbourne should be a cracker for SL with that fan base, just like in Colombo, and Sri Lanka should feel right at home.
World Cup is less than 3 weeks a way, and Kulasekara gave Luke Ronci a spiced up send off after he made him look like a complete you know who with cartwheel his off stump. In this node Im signing off by saying Jaya Wewa and Ayubowan.