In a thrilling encounter between New Zealand and Sri Lanka that ended in a tie, the Lankans won the match beating the host after a one-over eliminator during the first T-20 match at Eden Park, Auckland on Sunday.
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With this win, Sri Lanka now holds a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.
Sri Lanka batted first, putting up an impressive 196 for 5, which New Zealand managed to tie thanks to notable performances by Daryl Mitchell (66 off 44 balls), Mark Chapman (33 off 23 balls), and a crucial 10 runs off 4 balls from all-rounder Ish Sodhi. New Zealand had won the toss and chose to field, and although Sri Lanka lost a wicket on the very first ball, Kusal Perera (53 off 45) and Charith Asalanka (67 off 41) guided the innings. A quick 21 off 11 balls from Wanindu Hasaranga de Silva allowed Lanka to reach their competitive total.
New Zealand’s bowling unit struggled as they proved costly. James Neesham was the standout performer, taking 2 wickets with an economy rate of 7.50. Chasing the substantial target, New Zealand lost two wickets in just two overs. However, Mitchell’s 66 off 44 balls steadied the innings. Despite Sodhi’s efforts in the final overs, New Zealand couldn’t surpass Sri Lanka’s total as wickets fell at regular intervals. Contributions from Chapman and Rachin Ravindra (26) kept the Kiwis in the game, with Sodhi hitting a six on the last ball to level the match.
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The game proceeded to a super over, during which New Zealand scored 8 runs for 2 wickets. Sri Lanka chased this down in just two balls, with in-form batter Asalanka hitting a six followed by a four on a no-ball, sealing the victory. Sri Lanka now leads the 3-match T-20 series 1-0 against New Zealand, with the next match scheduled for April 5th in Dunedin.
SL vs NZ Match Score:
- New Zealand 196/8 (20) & 8/2 (1)
- Sri Lanka 196/5 (20) & 12/0 (0.2)