New Zealand and Australia played inconsiderate co-hosts at the Cricket World Cup on Sunday, something they've been doing for pretty much the entire tournament.
New Zealand remained the class team, winning its fifth consecutive match following a six-wicket victory over a travel-weary Afghanistan at Napier, New Zealand.
Daniel Vettori passed 300 wickets in one-day internationals as Afghanistan was bowled out for 186 — the fourth time in five matches that New Zealand has kept an opponent under 200 runs. New Zealand will finish first in Pool A.
Australia, playing at the Sydney Cricket Ground, moved into second place in the group with a 64-run win over Sri Lanka in a result that should mean the four-time champions avoid a detour to New Zealand during the knockout stages. The Australians have lost just one match — to New Zealand by one wicket in Auckland.
Man-of-the-match Glenn Maxwell scored his first ODI hundred and Shane Watson posted a career-reviving 67 in a 160-run stand after Steven Smith (72) and Michael Clarke (68) shared a 134-run third-wicket partnership to steer Australia to 376-9, the highest total against Sri Lanka at the World Cup.
"It's a big relief ... to get it out of the way," said Maxwell, who scored 11 half-centuries in his previous 44 ODIs. "Hopefully it's the first of many."
The Sri Lankans chased strongly but in ultimately in vain after losing Lahiru Thirimanne (1), with Kumar Sangakkara (104) scoring his third consecutive hundred and surpassing 14,000 career runs in ODIs and sharing a 130-run partnership with Tillakaratne Dilshan (62).
"It was a bit too much to chase," Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews said. "We conceded 200 runs in the last 16 overs ... way too much. I thought the batsmen did really well, but unfortunately we couldn't get over the line."
At Napier, the 36-year-old left-arm spinner Vettori only needed two wickets to reach the 300 mark but went better than that with a haul of 4-18 from his 10 overs.
"In any form of the game you can play well and not take wickets and vice-versa," Vettori said. "(I was) just trying to fulfil that role of being as economical as possible and the wickets came today."
There have been some major perks for New Zealand as co-host. It has played every one of its matches in New Zealand, giving it six "home" pool games, including its last preliminary match against Bangladesh next Friday in Hamilton, and will have travelled only 2,000 kilometres (1,200 miles) for its six games.
The New Zealanders have already been guaranteed a home quarterfinal in Wellington on March 21.
Afghanistan, meanwhile, has travelled more than any team in pool play — 14,870 kilometres (9,180 miles). But 10,000 of those kilometres (6,200 miles) came in the last week when Afghanistan, after beating Scotland in Dunedin, New Zealand, flew to Perth, Western Australia — five time zones away — to be beaten by a record margin by Australia, then flew back to New Zealand to play Sunday's match.
"It's true to say we are bit weary," Afghanistan's English coach Andy Moles said before the match. "We've tried to put a positive spin on it. The guys have seen a new part of the world, so for their development as human beings it's been a good thing."
The Australians have travelled the second-furthest in pool play — 13,363 kilometres (8,250 miles), and wasn't as fortunate as its other co-host when the schedule-makers went to work. Australia's only "road" match in the pool stage was in Auckland, but Australia still had to travel across four time zones in eight days for three games.
In Monday's only game, it's make-or-break time for England in its match against Bangladesh, which could advance to the quarterfinals at England's expense with a win.
The English have been beaten by Australia (by 111 runs), New Zealand (eight wickets) and Sri Lanka (nine wickets) with just a win over second-tier Scotland.