New Zealand's Martin Guptill (C/31) celebrates with teammates. Photograph:( AFP )
Kiwis chased down the 137-run target in 16.1 overs as earlier, New Zealand fast bowlers produced a clinical display to dismiss Sri Lanka for a paltry 136
Kane Williamson-led New Zealand defeated Sri Lanka by 10 wickets to open their World Cup campaign on a winning note at the Cardiff's Sophia Gardens on Saturday.
The openers Martin Guptill and Colin Munro completed their half-centuries to inspire the team towards victory.
Kiwis chased down the 137-run target in 16.1 overs as earlier, New Zealand fast bowlers produced a clinical display to dismiss Sri Lanka for a paltry 136.
Kiwis skipper Kane Williamson won the toss and chose to bowl on a pitch so green that it was indistinguishable from the outfield, and he was rewarded when Matt Henry trapped Lankan opener Lahiru Thirimanne leg-before in the first over.
Canterbury seamer Henry, who conceded 107 runs in the warm-up match against West Indies earlier this week, continued his resurgence to remove Kusal Perera and Kusal Mendis in the ninth over to leave the Sri Lankan middle order exposed at 46-3.
Fast bowler Lockie Ferguson joined the party with two wickets in his first three overs, while Colin de Grandhomme claimed the prized wicket of the experience Angelo Mathews for a duck.
Match in numbers:
Captain Dimuth Karunaratne led the Sri Lankan recovery, carrying his bat through the innings with an unbeaten 52 to take the total past 100. But apart from all-rounder Thisara Perera (27), he received no support from the lower order as they were skittled out with 20.4 overs to spare.
Henry and Ferguson, who returned to remove Lasith Malinga to wrap up the innings, finished with three wickets apiece as Lanka finished with the lowest ODI total at Sophia Gardens - below their own record of 138 against the Kiwis in the 2013 Champions Trophy.
Completed scoreboard in the World Cup match between New Zealand and Sri Lanka in Cardiff on Saturday:
Lahiru Thirimanne lbw b Henry 4
Dimuth Karunaratne not out 52
Kusal Perera c De Grandhomme b Henry 29
Kusal Mendis c Guptill b Henry 0
Dhananjaya de Silva lbw b Ferguson 4
Angelo Mathews c Latham b De Grandhomme 0
Jeevan Mendis c Neesham b Ferguson 1
Thisara Perera c Boult b Santner 27
Isuru Udana c Henry b Neesham 0
Suranga Lakmal c Santner b Boult 7
Lasith Malinga b Ferguson 1
Extras ((b1, nb2, w8) 11
Total (all out, 29.2 overs) 136
Fall of wickets: 1-4 (Thirimanne), 2-46 (K.Perera), 3-46 (K.Mendis), 4-53 (Ferguson), 5-59 (Mathews), 6-60 (J.Mendis), 7-112 (T.Perera), 8-114 (Udana), 9-130 (Lakmal), 10-136 (Malinga)
Bowling: Henry 7-0-29-3 (1w), Boult 9-0-44-1 (4w), Ferguson 6.2-0-22-3 (1w 1nb), De Grandhomme 2-0-14-1, Neesham 3-0-21-1 (1w, 1nb), Santner 2-0-5-1 (1w)
M.Guptill not out 73
C.Munro not out 58
Extras (lb3, nb1, w2) 6
Total (no wickets, 16.1 overs) 137
Did not bat: K.Williamson, R.Taylor, T.Latham, J.Neesham, C. De Grandhomme, M.Santner, M.Henry, L.Ferguson, T.Boult.
Bowling: Malinga 5-0-46-0, Lakmal 4-0-28-0, Udana 3-0-24-0, T.Perera 3-0-25-0, J.Mendis 1.1-0-11-0