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Matt Henry cannot stop taking wickets
The Canterbury seamer grabbed another
quality bag to shut off Sri Lanka’s bid
to square their ODI series at Bay Oval
New Zealand ’s 36-run win gave them
the series 3-1; Henry’s five for 40 gave him
13 wickets in three games in the rubber, at
a stunning 9.3 runs apiece.
He also won his second man-of-the-
match award of the series.
Left to hunt down New Zealand’s 294
for five, Sri Lanka were always slightly
behind the requirements, despite the
best efforts of captain Angelo Mathews,
Dinesh Chandimal and Milinda Sirawar-
dana, and ran out of steam, the hosts
winning with 17 balls to spare.
New Zealand now take all the momentum
into the two T20 internationals which will
wrap up this tour.
They might need it too, given the tourists
are world champions and the No 1-ranked
team at the smash-and-run format.
New Zealand are eighth.
The one blip so far was the eight-wicket
beating in Nelson last Thursday.
Other wise they have been conclusively
the better side at every turn.
“It’s always nice when things go your
way,” a modest Henry said last night.
“As a group, we’re bowling very well and
that ’s part of being a team.
“Sometimes you get rewards, sometimes
Sri Lanka gave it a decent shake
yesterday, chiefly through Mathews, who
arrived at a parlous 33 for three inside the
10th over and was eighth man out for 95.
The first two wickets were gifted away,
and for Danushka Gunathilaka there was
to be no repeat of his rollicking 65 at
Trent Boult and Henry put on the early
pressure and for much of the innings,
after Mathews and Chandimal had settled
things down, Sri Lanka were pushing
Mathews has had a lean tour for such
a class batsman, but this looked to be his
day as he pressed on towards what would
have been a second ODI century.
Instead he, and Sri Lanka came up short
as New Zealand stuck well to their lines.
Captain Kane Williamson entrusted
key overs to spinners Mitchell Santner
and Ish Sodhi in an impressive show of
confidence, and they did well on a holding
surface, but Henry and Boult — in his first
outing of the series, and sending down
plenty of slower deliveries too — had the
loudest say in the outcome.
The bowlers were backed by energetic
fielding and safe hands, Mitchell
Santner, Adam Milne and Henry
Nicholls notably so, praise which is also
warranted for Sri Lanka earlier.
The pitch had a hard surface but was
soft underneath, and timing was an issue
for the New Zealand batsmen.
That said, Martin Guptill paced his
innings impressively, a continuation of his
memorable 2015 and a ninth ODI ton, off
His partnership of 122 with Kane
Williamson set New Zealand up nicely
but against some clever bowling, and
wholehearted fielding, they had to work
How to quantify a good score. Had they
kept New Zealand to 265 they would have
Mitchell Santner, who hints at a bit
of x-factor about his cricket, clouted
two sixes in the 50th over from Nuwan
Pradeep, and while in a sense it does not
matter what time of the innings the runs
come, that pushed New Zealand past 290.
Psychologically that mattered, and given
Mathews and co pushing hard in the final
overs, was important.
The teams meet on the same ground in
the first T20 tomorrow.
— New Zealand Herald
It is early days, but Marina Erakovic has
some momentum to start the 2016 season.
She has progressed to the second round
of the ASB Classic, after a stirring 7-6 (2),
7-6 (3) over Yulia Putintseva.
The match concluded at 12.18am this
morning, in front of an impressive crowd
that stuck around for one of the latest
finishes in the tournament history.
It was a vital boost for the New
Zealander — and also the event, after the
shock defeats of Venus Williams and Ana
“ I thought my level was good,” Erakovic
said. “ The points were quite well structured
and I found my rhythm ... Overall I was
pretty happy with my game.”
World No 135 Erakovic had not played
at WTA level since the US Open last year,
when she retired hurt midway through the
second set of her first round match with a
Putintseva is a tricky opponent; the world
No 77 stays in the rally, moves incredibly
well and forces her opponents to hit
winners. A good start yesterday was vital,
to get the belief rolling again after so long
since a competitive match.
Erakovic got it. She punched several
forehand winners early on, then got her
rhythm going in the other areas of her
Erakovic dominated the first set —
constantly pressuring the Putintseva serve
— but the Kazakstan player somehow
forced a tie-break. Erakovic gave her no
chance in the breaker, hitting some superbly
placed forehands to win seven successive
points after being down 0-2 .
The 27-year-old New Zealander
maintained the momentum in the second
set, as Putintseva seemed to be on the verge
of a meltdown. The 20-year-old vigorously
disputed a line call in the tie-break and
then had a prolonged discussion with the
umpire early in the second, angry about
spectator noise between ser ves.
“I have played her before and I know she
gets fiery — some players are like that,”
Erakovic said. “ You have to deal with that
and wait until it is over. It didn’t bother
me too much and I just tried to focus on
myself and I think I handled it pretty
After breaking once early, Erakovic had
several chances for a second break but
couldn’t take them, and was then broken
back herself. Another tie-breaker ensued
— with some of the best rallies of the
night — and Erakovic again recovered
from a early deficit to seal a vital win in
front of a hardy crowd.
“It ’s great to be out there playing again”,
Erakovic said. “(But) it ’s only one match.
Yes, I got through it but tomorrow is
She faces world No 63 Alexander
Dulgheru in the second round, after the
Romanian surprised Belgian eighth seed
Alison Van Uytvanck on the opening day of
“She is a very smart player,” Erakovic said
of the European. “She doesn’t have any big
weapons but moves well and structures the
points very well.” — New Zealand Herald
Greymouth has a
New Zealand speedway
champion after Steve
the New Modified
Championship title last
night at the Wellington
Thompson took the
title from a class field
with drivers from
New Zealand No 3
McKay, who won last
the only driver from
Greymouth to compete
in the championships,
which were run over
two days and the only
to have held a New
The event was to
be run on Sunday
and Monday nights,
however Sunday was
rained out and the event
was run on Monday and
Ray Parkinson, the
promoter, said today
against 26 other drivers,
qualified after the first night ’s
racing — he was one of 16.
In Monday ’s racing, Thompson
competed in three 12 lap races
and finished the second highest
in his group.
Last night there were 20 cars in
three races, each of 20 laps.
Thompson started 19th in race
one which saw six cars taken
out, as he moved up to 10th. In
race two he started eighth and
finished second, then in the third
race he started third and won.
Parkinson said the
championship was won on
points and after the three races
Thompson had accumulated 50
Current title holder McKay
started the last race in 10th and
needed to finish fifth to take the
title, which he did — a mere
point ahead of Thompson.
Following the final race a
protest was made against McKay
which stated he illegally put the
wheels of his car on the infield.
“This was found to be the
case and McKay lost a point —
putting him on equal points with
Thompson. Organisers had to
hold a two car run off over four
laps to get a winner,” Parkinson
McKay took the lead in the
first lap, and Parkinson said
Thompson hit a big rut in the
track which gave McKay a four
“Going into lap four McKay
hit the same rut and blew his left
rear tyre putting him out of the
race, giving Thompson the New
Parkinson said Thompson
would now have 1NZ etched
in his stock car for a year and
would defend the title at the
championships next year, which
would be held at Greenstone
Park in Cobden.
“In the club’s 40 year or so
history this is the first time ever
a club member has held a New
Zealand title. The best driver
before this was Lindsay Hughes
who took out a third place in a
New Zealand championship in
Wednesday, January 6, 2016
Steve Thompson in action at Greenstone Park recently.
PICTURE: Getty Images
Black Cap Matt Henry bowls Sri Lanka’s Dushmantha Chameera in yesterday’s one dayer at the Bay Oval in Mt Maunganui.
The top two seeds are out of the
ASB Women’s Classic — and tennis
fans are fuming.
First, defending champion Venus
Williams lost 7-6, 3-6, 3-6 to
18-year-old Daria Kasatkina.
Then second seed Ana Ivanovic
was bundled out of the tournament,
losing 7-5, 6-4 to Briton Naomi
Broady, who could barely contain her
emotions after her shock win.
The big guns’ exit leaves just one
big name still in the tournament —
Caroline Wozniacki, who suffered
her own shaky start when she came
up against world No 57 Danka Kovinic.
Tennis fans have taken to social media to
voice their disappointment at the results
but tournament director Karl Budge says
you cannot control player results.
“That ’s the beauty of sport, it’s
unpredictable,” Budge said.
“ You want players to turn up who want
to win and I think you saw two players
tonight who desperately wanted to win
Budge joked Wozniacki was now feeling
“ We had a bit of a text exchange tonight
actually. After Venus’ match she sent me
a text and said ‘it almost could have been
two’. (Wozniacki) didn’t play as well as
she hoped today herself. But that ’s the
quality of this tournament, anyone of
those girls coming through can win this
tournament, and we’re lucky we still have
some real quality in Wozniacki, (Svetlana)
Kuznetsova, (Sloane) Stephens — there’s
some exciting talent in that draw.”
Williams has promised to stick around
in Auckland for a few more days
yet and said is happy to work with
sponsorship commitments and public
appearances — an offer Budge has
“ I think she’s the greatest
sportsperson that has come to New
Zealand for a very long time and
we owe her a great deal of gratitude,
so anything Venus wants to do in
Auckland over the next few days we’ll
make sure it happens,” Budge said.
Williams looked out of sorts
throughout the match, while
Kasatkina produced the performance
of her life.
Although it is normal for players to suffer
from early-season rust, the top seed just
could not get going against the world No
She accumulated 73 unforced errors,
making it impossible to win any game, let
alone against someone who was returning
everything with interest.
“S he is an amazing tennis player and I
respect her so much,” a stunned Kasatkina
said. “ It was an unbelievable match for me. ”
— New Zealand Herald
NZ speedway title
The organisers of the
Dick Smith NRL Nines
rugby league tournament
to be held at Eden Park
next month say the
event will go ahead as
Snedden, the chief
executive of D uco
Events — who have run
the tournament since its
inception two years ago
— says his company is
still owed money by the
Duco Events has a
five-year naming rights
contract with Dick
Smith, which yesterday
went into receivership,
and Sneddon said his
company would contact
the receivers regarding
the money owed for this
year, and whether Dick
Smith would continue to
sponsor the event. Dick
Smith paid a sum to
Duco Events every year
for the naming rights.
“It will have no impact
whatsoever on our
ability to put on a great
tournament on Waitangi
Day,” Snedden said.
“ We’ll contact the
receivers but they ’ve got
bigger things to worry
about than us at the
moment. We’ve got plenty
of time to wait for the
dust to settle. What ’s
happened is a real shame
because Dick Smith have
been a great partner and
supporter of the NRL
with support from,
events arm ATEED,
allows the organisers
to offer a winner’s
cheque of $A500,000
($NZ577,000) from the
total prize pool of $A2.25
All of the NRL’s 16
clubs are contractually
obliged to attend the
which starts this year on
Waitangi Day, February 6.
The event will be held
in Auckland until at least
2018, with other cities,
most notably Sydney, also
keen to host it.
— NZ Herald
ASB TENNIS CLASSIC
Top seeds fall in first round
Ana Ivanovic and Venus Williams are out of the
tournament after losing to much less experienced
players last night.
Erakovic delivers midnight magic
Dick Smith woes
‘won’t impact’ Nines
Henry puts Sri Lankans to the sword
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