Sat, Jan 24, 2015 - Page 19 News List

World-record batting steers NZ to win

BIG HITTERS:Luke Ronchi and Grant Elliott’s world record sixth-wicket stand saw the Black Caps put on 122 in the final 10 overs, 77 of which were in the final five


New Zealand’s Luke Ronchi plays a shot against Sri Lanka in the fifth one-day international at University Oval in Dunedin, New Zealand, yesterday.

Photo: AFP

Luke Ronchi and Grant Elliott put on a world-record 267-run partnership as New Zealand recovered from 93-5 to thump Sri Lanka by 108 runs in the fifth one-day international in Dunedin, New Zealand, yesterday.

Ronchi notched 170 not out for his maiden one-day international century, while Elliott was unbeaten on 104 in the sixth-wicket stand of 267, which surpassed the 218 that Mahela Jaywardene and Mahendra Singh Dhoni scored for the Asian XI against an African XI in 2007.

The duo were named men of the match for their brilliant partnership, which helped the hosts, who were put into bat by Sri Lanka, reach an unlikely 360-5.

Former captain Tillakaratne Dilshan’s (116) 20th one-day international century kept Sri Lanka in the chase for a while, but the visitors lost their last eight wickets for 41 runs to be all out for 252 in the 44th over.

New Zealand took a 3-1 lead in the seven-match series.

Dilshan put on 93 for the opening wicket with Lahiru Thirimanne (45) and another 70 for the third with Mahela Jayawardene (30), but fell trying to keep up with the run rate.

Trent Boult was the pick of the bowlers for New Zealand with his four for 44, while Tim Southee, Elliott and Mitchell McClenaghan all picked up two wickets apiece.

The bowler’s task was made easier, though, by the mammoth effort from their teammates.

The 33-year-old Ronchi’s role has typically been to guide the tail through the end of an innings after the top order have given them a solid foundation, but yesterday at University Oval he relished batting for 30 overs.

The pair were thrust together in the 20th over with the hosts in deep trouble and they set about rebuilding the innings with Elliott playing the anchor role, rotating the strike, while Ronchi set about upping the tempo.

They scored 122 in the final 10 overs, 77 of which were in the final five as they rattled off more than 15 runs an over.

Ronchi’s innings included 14 fours and nine sixes in just 99 balls.

“We worked off each other and we tried to be as relaxed as we could. Once things started flowing along we began to relax and have good fun out there,” Elliott said. “Ronchi doesn’t get a lot of time at the end, so it was nice for him to come in early and show how destructive he can be.”

Elliott was a surprise selection in New Zealand’s World Cup squad, but his second one-day international century should have nailed down the No. 5 batting spot at the Feb. 15 to March 29 tournament.

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