CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand (AP) — With two scores in excess of 300 posted on the first day of the Cricket World Cup, expert predictions that this may be a tournament in which bat prevails over ball have been given early support.

New Zealand scored 331-6 in beating Sri Lanka by 98 runs in the opening match at Christchurch, and Australia scored 342-9 in its 111-run win over England in Melbourne.

As cricket's world body begins to confront what it believes is a tip in the game's balance in favor of batsmen, caused in part by bigger bats, the World Cup may help to demonstrate how large the disparity has become.

New Zealand coach Mike Hesson said on Sunday a number of factors, mainly fielding restrictions, worked in favor of batsmen, but he believed good bowling will still be rewarded.

"The sides that continue to attack with the ball are the sides that can turn 350 into 180," he said.

"The new rules have taken out that trivial play between the 15th and 40th overs, and the new rules have really invigorated that area of the game and created more boundary opportunities.

"Therefore, if you sit back and wait you can be chasing a big total, but also one of our strengths is that we continue to attack."

Hesson said pitches prepared for matches both in Australia and New Zealand would generally favor batsmen, as that was the nature of the one-day game, but measures such as extending boundaries could close the gap between bat and ball.

"At this time of year, the wickets are probably at their best, certainly in New Zealand, and the wicket in Melbourne looked excellent," he said. "There's going to be a lot of runs.

"Certainly, the boundary size went out at Hagley (Oval, in Christchurch) yesterday, and that probably came into play with opportunities on the ropes, and some grounds can be extended.

"Eden Park can't go too much further, but I would think at this time of year there will be plenty of runs."