New Zealand ride their luck to defeat Bangladesh in World Cup thriller

By Sports Desk June 05, 2019

Ross Taylor played the match-defining innings as nervy New Zealand made it two wins from two matches at the Cricket World Cup with a two-wicket success over Bangladesh.

The Tigers' 244 all out began to look a decent score as the Black Caps wobbled badly after cruising to 160-2 but they eventually claimed a tense victory with just 17 balls in hand.

On another day, Bangladesh might have sprung another major upset, having turned over South Africa in their opener at The Oval.

Back at the same venue, the Tigers were undone by fractional run-out calls going New Zealand's way during the run chase. Taylor's 82 batted the Kiwis into a strong position that they converted into what became a nail-biting triumph.

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    Dimuth Karunaratne scored a century in Galle to inspire Sri Lanka to a comfortable victory, ending a run of seven straight Test defeats to the Black Caps.

    Tom Latham's drop let Karunaratne off the hook early on day five, and though the hosts eventually lost their skipper when he edged Tim Southee behind, Sri Lanka had already done the bulk of the work in pursuit of their 268-run target.

    Watling, though, insists New Zealand played well in spells throughout the first Test, suggesting missed chances to dismiss Sri Lanka's key figures were crucial in deciding the outcome.

    "We're in a good space, we're very disappointed to have lost that match," Watling told a news conference ahead of the second Test in Colombo.

    "We'd got ourselves into a good position to win it and obviously, we let it slip a fraction. We felt like we played some pretty good cricket over the five days."

    "We lost some key phases of that game. We know it's tough to play in sub-continent conditions and then it'll all happen, and you can lose wickets.

    "It's about taking it that little bit deeper. We had a few good starts in the first innings and probably should have scored about 350 on that surface, but we let Sri Lanka back in the game and that cost us.

    "We bowled really well in the first innings and put them under a lot of pressure. Even in the second innings we missed a few chances that could have changed the game.

    "Our spinners bowled really well, asked a lot of good questions, but we didn't quite take those opportunities."

    Watling, who scored 77 in the second innings, added New Zealand cannot entirely blame themselves for the defeat.

    "Nobody is trying to drop a catch or miss anything. They were pretty tough chances. We have to give a lot of credit to Sri Lanka's batsmen, especially their opening partnership," he said.

    "They took it deep enough to win the Test match and hopefully we can look to make some more inroads into the top order and put the middle order under some more pressure."

    New Zealand captain Kane Williamson and Sri Lanka bowler Akila Dananjaya were both reported for suspect bowling actions in the first Test.

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    "But you never want to see someone go off injured like that, you never want to see someone be walked off the field and for him to miss this game.

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    "I feel like the guys know what type of bowling [Cummins] is capable of doing. We've seen him do that before in Test cricket. It's just about managing the situation when you face it.

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    England have had their own concussion issue to deal with this week, with Jason Roy set for a final assessment on Thursday after passing an initial examination.

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    Paine insists Australia are prepared for more of the same at Headingley, adding: "We copped some short pitch bowling, guys have got plans in place and we've prepared really well for it, it's now about going out and executing.

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    The skipper also indicated Australia will alter their attack, with the pitch not expected to provide as much help for the seamers. 

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