Christchurch, Feb 14: New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum said his team was nervous even after scoring 331 as they feared the Sri Lankan batting was capable of chasing the total down during their World Cup opener Saturday. [NZ beat Sri Lanka by 98 runs]
McCullum smashed 65 from 49 balls to lay a strong foundation for the Black Caps. All-rounder Corey Anderson added the finishing touches, smashing 75 off 46 to propel New Zealand to an imposing score. Sri Lanka lost the match by 98 runs at the Hagley Oval.
"Even after getting 331 at half-time we were a little nervous because of the world-class players that Sri Lanka have," McCullum said at the post match presentation ceremony.
The skipper, however, said it was a job well done after having to prepare so long for the tournament.
"Really good performance from the boys. We have been waiting a long time for this so it is great to complete our plans. I thought it might swing so I also thought about bowling first," he said.
"The wicket was a bit on the slow side, but there was definitely good bounce and carry. It was great to lay the foundation and then allow the bigger hitters to come in and do the job." he said.
The 33-year-old praised his bowlers, specially veteran left-arm spinner Daniel Vettori, who picked up two crucial wickets of Mahela Jaywardene and Tillakaratne Dilshan and pacer Adam Milne, even going to the extent of saying the latter could be the next Shane Bond.
New Zealand beat Sri Lanka by 98 runs in their opening WC encounter
"It is really pleasing to use cross-seamers and pitch the ball on the fourth/fifth stump lines were really good. I thought (Trent) Boult and Milne came back really well and looked to be searching for wickets, so we were pretty pleased with how those guys played."
"Daniel Vettori was brilliant as always. Milne is a great weapon to have in the team, and I suspect he might just go the way of that tweet (when asked if Milne is the next Shane Bond)."