New Zealand wins one off T20 against Sri Lanka
2019-01-11 at 15:53
Sri Lanka ended their tour of New Zealand without a win as they suffered a deflating 35-run defeat in the standalone Twenty20 at Eden Park.
The tourists restricted New Zealand to 179-7 but failed to knock off the runs despite Thisara Perera’s 43 off 23 deliveries, closing on 144 off 16.5 overs.
Lasith Malinga’s side, featuring five changes, had earlier looked well-set for a morale-boosting win as New Zealand collapsed to 27-4, then 55-5, but a 47-run stand between Ross Taylor and the recalled Doug Bracewell turned the tide.
Opener Martin Guptill miscued skipper Malinga to mid-on in the first over and Tim Seifert was caught off a leading edge off the bowling of Kasun Rajitha.
Debutant Scott Kuggeleijn provided the late fireworks with four maximums while Bracewell was only denied a fifty by a fine diving catch at long-off by Dhananjaya de Silva.
Sri Lanka also lost a wicket early on as Sadeera Samarawickrama played his first ball of the tour onto the stumps after Niroshan Dickwella had started the chase with a six and four off Lockie Ferguson’s opening two deliveries.
The runs continued to flow as Kusal Perera plundered 18 off Tim Southee’s first over.
Two wickets in five balls put the game back in the balance after Dickwella top-edged Bracewell.
Thisara Perera struck three sixes in total as the fourth wicket added 49 before Kusal Mendis hit a Southee ball to Kuggeleijn at mid-off leaving Sri Lanka 95-4 at the halfway stage.
Ferguson struck the telling blow when Perera miscued a short ball to Bracewell at long on – Sri Lanka’s resolve fading quickly.