Wellington: New Zealand rightfully justified why they are one of the favourites for the Cricket World Cup as they started cricket's pinnacle tournament on a winning note with a 98-run victory over Sri Lanka at the Hagley Oval in Christchurch on Saturday.
New Zealand won the World Cup opener after posting a massive 332-run target for Sri Lanka to win and then bowled the tourists out for 233 runs with 23 balls remaining.
Put in to bat, New Zealand posted the mammoth 332-run target after Sri Lanka won the toss and decided to field first.
Opener Martin Guptill fell one run short of his half-century but he put on a solid partnership of 111 runs for the first wicket with skipper Brendon McCullum, who scored his individual 65 runs off 49 deliveries.
McCullum blasted 10 fours and one six as he provided the initial thrust for New Zealand, before he fell prey to left-arm orthodox spinner Rangana Herath's delivery.
Big-hitting batsman Kane Williamson and swashbuckling all-rounder Corey Anderson subsequently consolidated the good start to take the total to 331-6 in their allotted 50 overs, with their individual knocks of 57 and 75 respectively.
Anderson reached his 75 in 46 deliveries, knocking eight fours and two sixes.
Suranga Lakmal and Jeevan Mendis were the pick of the Sri Lankan bowlers as they grabbed two wickets each while Herath and Nuwan Kulasekara took one each.
Sri Lanka openers Lahiru Thirimanne and Tillakaratne Dilshan provided a good start for Angelo Mathews' side with their individual knocks of 65 and 24, but the rest of the players failed to build on their openers, with just the skipper hitting 46 runs.
Wicketkeeper batsman Kumar Sangakkara also provided a little stability with his individual 39 but failed to contribute further to the scoreline as he was trapped LBW by Trent Boult's express delivery.
Anderson was named the Player of the Match for his impressive match figure of 18-2 and brilliant knock of 75 runs.