New Zealand scoops first honours in Florida

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New Zealand 120-7 (20 overs) beat Sri Lanka 91 (19.4 overs) by 29 runs

 

 New Zealand won the first international match played on US soil in emphatic fashion against Sri Lanka. Ross Taylor (27) strung together a crucial partnership with his skipper Daniel Vettori (21 not out) to insure Kiwi bowlers a decent total to protect on a slow pitch.

 Earlier Brendon McCullum gave the Black Caps a promising start after hitting the first four and six. Sri Lankan seam-bowler Nuwan Kulasekera was also keen to have his name etched in history books and removed the Kiwi wicketkeeper after being struck for successive boundaries.

 As Vettori and Taylor worked hard for runs, spectators were entertained by cheerleaders, clowns and bands creating a unique American cricketing experience at Lauderhill, Florida. Fans sporting jerseys from major cricketing nations were represented in the stands and grassy banks for the historic occasion. They were buoyant to see high-caliber international cricket in the heartland of baseball country, cheering for every boundary scored and wicket that fell.

 Too many wickets cost Sri Lanka and skipper Kumar Sangakkara admitted that an over-zealous approach by his team’s batsmen led to the dramatic collapse. Kiwi all rounder Scott Styris was awarded the Man of the Match for excellent bowling figures of 3 for 10.