Slow motion as New Zealand edge Sri Lanka in US bow

FORT LAUDERDALE, May 23, 2010 (AFP) – New Zealand beat Sri Lanka by 28 runs in the first of two Twenty20 matches on Saturday as international cricket made an historic attempt to break into the American market. Styris said: “It wasn’t too bad, this wicket suited me.”

Ross Taylor top-scored for New Zealand with 27 off 30 balls with skipper Daniel Vettori contributing 21.

For Sri Lanka, spinner Ajantha Mendis starred with the ball, taking 2-18 off his four overs.

Vettori admitted his team’s batting had been a worry.

“It wasn’t much of a total, but we bowled well. We bowl well on these wickets, and the big boundary helped us too, you can’t just hit a couple of sixes any time.”

Sangakkara praised the Kiwis.

“They got a great start, they pushed us back in the first six overs, and New Zealand were a bit more disciplined than us, both with the bat in the field.” However, the format’s reputation as a carnival of brutal power-hitting suffered on a slow, lifeless pitch at the 20,000-capacity Central Broward Regional Park Stadium at Lauderhill.

New Zealand struggled to a modest 120-7 off their 20 overs before Sri Lanka were bowled out for just 92.

On a day of tough batting and bo