New Zealand once again reigned in as the superior professional side on a clinical 4-wicket triumph over Sri Lanka in the second of the 3-match T20 series to clinch the series at the Pallekelle International Cricket Stadium on Tuesday.
The New Zealanders showcased their in-depth class by going past what was like in the first encounter a defendable 161 for 9 wickets by the Sri Lankans off 20 overs. This was aptly demonstrated as they dug out of an almost identical bad situation of 3 for 38 as in the previous game to victory on a fourth wicket gallop of 109 runs off 15.2 overs between Colin de Grandhomme whomade 59 off 46 balls inclusive of 2 boundaries and 3 sixes and Tom Bruce 53 off 46 containing 3 boundaries. It undid Akila Dananjaya’s early 3-wicket spin web as the visitors coasted home from that point losing just two more wickets.
Sri Lanka’s use of the toss advantage saw Kusal Mendis and Kusal Janith Pererapost 34 for the first wicket off 4.6 overs with the former exiting for 26 off 24 balls hitting 2 sixes and 2 boundaries. Perera fell 6 runs later for 11 making it 40 for 2 off 6.2 overs, but vice captain Niroshan Dickwella, who top scored with 39 off 30 with 3 boundaries and a six and Avishka Fernando 37 off 25 with 3 boundaries, figured in a 68-run third wicket alliance taking the score to 108 for 3 by the third delivery of the 14th over when Avishka Fernando fell. From that point Shehan Jayasuriya’s 20 off 13 with 2 boundaries and a six was the only noteworthy contribution with S.H.A. Rance claiming 3 for 33, Player of the Match Tim Southee 2 for 18 and S.C. Kuggeleijn 2 for 38.
Sri Lanka 161/9 (20 Overs) Run Rate: 8.05 (N. Dickwella 39, W.I.A. Fernando 37,B.K.G. Mendis 26, G.S.N.F.G. Jayasuriya 20, I. Udana 13, P.W.H. de Silva 11, M.D.K.J. Perera11, S.H.A. Rance 3/33, T.G. Southee 2/18, S.C. Kuggeleijn 2/38)
New Zealand 165 for 6 (19.4 Overs) Run Rate: 8.38 (C. de Grandhomme 59, T.C. Bruce 53, S.L. Seffert 15, C. Munro 13, M.J. Santner n.o. 10, S.C. Kuggeleijn 8, A. Dananjaya 3/36)
By Srian Obeyesekere
-The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Sri Lanka Cricket-