McCullum leading by example

  • Last Updated: March 30 2014, 14:29 BST

New Zealand will be hoping for more of the same from captain Brendon McCullum as they look to secure a place in the World Twenty20 semi-finals at the expense of Sri Lanka on Monday.

Brendon McCullum: First man to surpass 2,000 Twenty20 international runs
Brendon McCullum: First man to surpass 2,000 Twenty20 international runs

The teams head into their final Group 1 encounter in Chittagong on four points apiece from three games and knowing the winners at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium will advance, along with South Africa, to the last four.

The Black Caps will surely fancy their chances if McCullum can continue the form which on Saturday saw him become the first man to surpass 2,000 Twenty20 international runs.

The New Zealand skipper moved to 2,044 runs after hitting 65 off 45 balls to help his side record a six-wicket success over Holland.

Paceman Trent Boult was full of praise for New Zealand's opponents and for McCullum, revealing the skipper's achievement meant a lot to the whole team.

"It's pretty well known across the world what kind of player Brendon is," Boult said. "For him to tick up that milestone is pretty satisfying for him personally and something the team love to see.

"We went in with a lot of confidence and we knew we could deliver but it wasn't a guaranteed win. We needed to play well. They're a quality side, the Dutch - they've shown they're a cricketing nation.

"We knew it wasn't going to be an easy-beat win - we knew we had to deliver.

"A lot of the players stood up and contributed and got us that win in the end."

McCullum, speaking before his heroics against Holland, recognised exactly what had to be done in his side's final two group matches.

"We've got to play two good games of cricket," he said. "We've got to beat the Netherlands well and we've got to beat Sri Lanka a couple of days after that.

"If we don't, then we don't deserve to be here in the back end of the tournament."

Lasith Malinga will captain Sri Lanka on Monday in the absence of regular skipper Dinesh Chandimal, who will serve a one-match suspension as punishment for slow over-rates.

Sri Lanka headed into the tournament full of confidence having won the Asia Cup, and posted comfortable wins against South Africa and Holland before their smooth progress was halted by a six-wicket loss to England.

Batsman Mahela Jayawardene looks set to make the starting XI despite dislocating a finger when attempting to take a catch to dismiss England centurion Alex Hales on Thursday.

He fluffed the chance and let the ball slip through for four but, with three clear days before facing the Black Caps, the 36-year-old - who retires from international Twenty20 at the end of the tournament - seems to have had enough time to recover and reportedly came through nets practice on Saturday unscathed.


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