“I think the beauty about our guys is they can exploit those conditions quite regularly,” Guptill said. “We put the ball in the right areas enough today to get the rewards up front. I think [winning the toss] worked in our favor a wee bit. Even if we had been put in this morning, I think we still would've played with the positive intent that we had this afternoon. [It] may not have come off, but we still would've gone out there and tried to play as positively as possible.”
Having bowled Sri Lanka out for 136, the lowest ever ODI total on this ground, New Zealand chased it down in a hurry - They ended up winning with more than 200 balls to spare. When asked if this approach was about setting down a marker for the tournament or improving the team’s net run rate, Guptill said both were important.
“It’s always nice to have a healthy run rate at the start of a tournament. Once we had them seven, eight down it was, try and knock them over as quick as possible and then knock the runs off as quick as possible as well. We’ve got a healthy run rate at the moment, so hopefully we can take it through the rest of the tournament.”
Starting with such an emphatic win will have given the New Zealanders a real boost, especially as they have a tricky run-in at the end of the tournament where they face arch-rivals Australia and tournament favourites England in their last two group matches.
“I guess you want to build that momentum early, and today we did that. Our bowlers put the ball in the right areas and made it difficult for Sri Lanka to really get a big start on. If we bowl first in the next few games, we can hopefully continue to do that and make it difficult for the guys to score. Then if we can come out and play with a bit of freedom like we did this afternoon with the bat, I think we'll have a pretty successful tournament.”
New Zealand’s next match sees them take on Bangladesh at the Oval in London on Wednesday 5 June.