Mahela Jayawardene in a new role as an opening batsman came good to score 81 as Sri Lanka found itself at 135 for 6 in the allotted 20 overs against New Zealand. The total from Sri Lanka can be a defendable one considering that the pitch at the Providence Stadium is atrociously on the slower side and is taking plenty of turn. The Lankans remember have Muralitharan, Mendis, Jayasuriya to take advantage of that.
Batting first after winning the toss, Sri Lanka had to work extremely hard to get the boundary. However, Mahela Jayawardene was the only one who made batting look easy and got a good partnership of 59 with debutant Dinesh Chandimal (29 from 23 balls). Mahela's 81 came in just 51 balls with the help of 8 fours and two sixes. Sri Lanka strangely snubbed Sanath Jayasuriya down the order at no.7 and the veteran Master Blaster did not even get ti face a single ball!
The bowling and fielding from New Zealand was pretty good with the exception of Shane Bond. The faster he bowled, the more easier it was to hit the shots fluently for runs. Apart from him all others were difficult to score off though Bond became the most successful bowler with 2 for 35 in his 4 overs.
Partnerships will be the key for New Zealand in this run chase. There is no point in going for the big hits as the pitch is terribly slow and timing is no way easy! Someone from the Black Caps would need to replicate what Mahela did for the Lankans.