The New Zealand cricketers won't have to worry about facing Muttiah Muralitharan if they play Sri Lanka again at the Twenty20 World Cup as the champion offspinner is out of the tournament with a groin injury suffered in the opening loss to the Black Caps.
Sri Lanka are through to the Super Eight Stage though, after beating Zimbabwe by 14 runs in a rain-affected match in Guyana.
The Sri Lankan physio says Muralitharan has strained his right abductor muscle and will need up to three weeks to recover. No replacement has been named.
Muralitharan has more international wickets than any cricketer, having taken 792 in 132 Tests and a further 512 in 334 limited-overs games.
The 38-year-old has 13 wickets in 10 Twenty20 internationals and took two for 25 against New Zealand in Guyana.
The Sri Lankan opener Mahela Jayawardene scored the second century of the tournament in the win over Zimbabwe - 100 off 60 balls in his side's 173 for seven.
Rain then limited Zimbabwe's reply to 29 for one from just five overs, the minimum to constitute a match, and Sri Lanka were declared winners on the Duckworth-Lewis method.