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Record loss for Black Caps
Sri Lanka score 262-6 before bowling New Zealand out for just 73 runs.
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2007 12:04 GMT
Sri Lanka exposed New Zealand's weaknesses just
two months ahead of the World Cup [AFP]
Sri Lanka handed New Zealand their worst ever one-day international loss beating them by 189 runs in Auckland to level the five-game series at 2-2.

The New Zealanders were bowled out for just 73 - their second-lowest total in limited-overs cricket - after Sri Lanka had posted 262 for six in their innings.
New Zealand's dismal display followed fine performances by Sanath Jayasuriya and Kumar Sangakkara, who both hit half-centuries.

Jayasuriya scored a whirlwind 70 off 44 balls but it was Sangakkara who held the Sri Lankan innings together with 79 from 103 balls after the loss of three wickets.
New Zealand had no answer to a great spell of in-swing bowling from 32-year-old Chaminda Vaas.

He trapped New Zealand skipper Stephen Fleming (0), Ross Taylor (0) and Hamish Marshall (3) in successive overs to finish with 3-10 from eight overs.

"It's rubbish, that's what it was."

Stephen Fleming,
New Zealand captain
Fast bowler Lasith Malinga also turned in a devastating display, taking 3-14 from eight overs while master spinner Muttiah Muralitharan had 2-7 from his 2.3 overs at the tail end of the innings.

New Zealand's longstanding batting weaknesses were again cruelly exposed with the World Cup only two months away.

Had it not been for an unbeaten 29 from all-rounder Craig McMillan, New Zealand might even have failed to match their lowest ever one-day total of 64, which they made against Pakistan in Sharjah more than a decade ago.

Opener Brendon McCullum (17) was the only player apart from McMillan to make double figures.

"It's rubbish, that's what it was," Stephen Fleming, the New Zealand captain, said. "I would certainly pay credit to some fine bowling by Chaminda at the top who swung the ball but there was some average batting."

He said the team was "pretty alarmed" by the performance and the team's recent history of failing to score runs in the top and middle of the batting order.

The final game of the series takes place on Tuesday.
Source:
Agencies
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