Tall right-handed opener Harry Boam batted through New Zealand’s 196-run chase to secure a comfortable win over Sri Lanka and ensure the hosts finished top of Group C.
Finishing unbeaten on 85, Boam anchored three key partnerships through the top order to help his team through to a Super League quarter-final showdown against Australia on Sunday.
New Zealand began their run chase with a momentary falter, losing a wicket in the second over, but it didn’t put the Kiwis off their stride. Boam and Jimmy Neesham combined for a 74 run partnership before the hard-hitting Neesham skied a delivery and was caught three runs short of a half-century off just 41 balls.
Corey Anderson then proceeded to hit five boundaries but was out to a stunning outfield running catch by Charith Jayampathi who scampered 25 metres and dived forward with both hands outstretched to take the catch just inside the long on boundary.
That was the last wicket Sri Lanka captured as Boam and captain Craig Cachopa confidently accumulated the necessary runs with more than six overs to spare, Boam hitting seven fours and a six in his 151-ball stay at the crease.
Batting first at Christhurch’s Queen Elizabeth II Park, Sri Lanka had started slowly and lost early wickets, waiting until the 29th over before unleashing any fireworks. It was left hander, Dhanishka Gunathillike, who got things moving. With the score at 136 for nine and the catering staff started preparing for an early lunch, Gunathillike took to the New Zealand bowlers, hitting them back over their heads, to score an outstanding 69. The final partnership added 59 runs, giving the side a creditable total to defend.
New Zealand’s Tim Johnston again impressed with his varied and intelligent off spin, breaking two important middle order partnerships.
Harry Boam raises his bat to the crowd after reaching his half century.
Captain Craig Cachopa batting against Sri Lanka.
Sri Lankan batsman Danishka Gunathilleke points to his team mates after reaching 50.
Tim Johnson celebrates the wicket of Kithruwan Vithanage who was caught behind by Tom Latham.