The 3rd and last ODI between New Zealand and Sri Lanka took place today at the Saxton Oval in Nelson as a day game. New Zealand being inserted to bat on a green track charged to 364 runs and managed to restrict the Sri Lankans to 249 runs to complete the clean sweep of the ODI series, winning the 3rd ODI by 115 runs.
After a scintillating encounter in the second ODI, Sri Lanka…
Lockie Ferguson replaced Trent Boult for the hosts while the tourists made 3 changes, bringing in Dhananjaya de Silva, Dasun Shanaka and Dushmantha Chameera in place of Dinesh Chandimal, Asela Gunaratne and Seekkuge Prasanna.
Lasith Malinga finally won a toss after losing both the tosses in the previous ODIs. With the Saxton Oval wicket appearing to have more pace than the Bay Oval surface, Malinga straight away opted to bowl first with the advantage of using the pace-friendly conditions to get early wickets.
Malinga’s decision almost paid off as he himself picked up two wickets within the first 5 overs of the innings. Martin Guptill was dismissed for 2 runs as Kusal Mendis held on to a sharp catch fielding at gully. Sri Lanka seemed to have a clear plan for Guptill and executed it perfectly.
Colin Munro’s cameo came to an end when he chopped on a quick delivery by Malinga which was bowled right after a cutter.
Williamson leading the charge along with experienced Taylor, put on a 116-run partnership for the 3rd wicket putting New Zealand in the driving seat.
Giving Sri Lanka their first wicket for spin in the series, Williamson slogged one straight to Dhananjaya de Silva at mid-wicket off Lakshan Sandakan.
Sandakan was taken out of the attack after an 8-over spell where he claimed 1 wicket for 44 runs. Taylor-Nicholls then came together and the duo added 154 runs for the 4th wicket in no time. Ross Taylor who reached his 6th consecutive half-century in ODIs went on to score his 10th ODI ton.
Taylor who reached 100 in 112 deliveries and finished on 137 runs. His last 34 runs included 4 sixes off Lasith Malinga.
From then onwards it was about Nicholls taking the limelight as he reached his maiden ODI century even before anyone knew. Nicholls was in fact dropped by Sandakan off his own bowling when Nicholls smashed the ball straight into the bowler’s palms when he was 76.
Apart from Sandakan, Dushmatha Chameera looked good in his first game of the tour though he went at over 6 runs per over. Surprisingly Thisara Perera was used for just 2 overs in which he gave away 8 runs.
The death overs were bowled by Malinga and Pradeep where they together gave away 64 runs in just 4 overs.
Neesham and Henry Nicholls added 63 runs for the 5th wicket. Nicholls ended on 124 runs off just 80 deliveries with 12 boundaries and 3 sixes while Neesham remained unbeaten on 12 in 6. This goes down as the highest 1st innings score in this ground.
Already having made 3 changes to the playing XI, Sri Lanka were forced to switch up the opening pair which had looked to be clicking very well as Danushka Gunathilaka sustained a back strain while fielding.
Replacing Gunathilaka, Dhananjaya de Silva opened the innings with Niroshan Dickwella and did extremely well. Dhananjaya who last opened in an ODI back in November 2016 against Zimbabwe in Bulawayo scored 36 runs in just 29 deliveries with 5 elegant boundaries and a six.
He also fell as the first wicket, LBW to Tim Southee in the 9th over after putting on 66 runs for the opening wicket with Dickwella. Dickwella perished after adding 41 more runs with Kusal Perera for the 3rd wicket.
Making it the 3rd start which came to an early end, Kusal Perera too nicked a Ferguson delivery to fall for 46 runs.
The middle order once again flopped for Sri Lanka, giving up all the advantage gained by the top order. Kusal Mendis was run out without facing a single delivery while Dasun Shanaka played a straight delivery from Ish Sodhi right across the line to be given out LBW.
Danushka Gunathilaka, who then walked in with an injury to join the in-form Thisara Perera, read the situation really well and played second fiddle to Thisara accordingly.
Thisara Perera on the other hand took over from where he left off in Mount Maunganui and thrashed the Kiwi bowlers. He reached his 10th ODI half-century and kept Sri Lanka in contention for a famous win until he was dismissed courtesy a brilliant catch by Martin Guptill.
Perera was in fact dropped twice before by wicket keeper Tim Seifter and Ross Taylor on 62 and 74 respectively.
That was technically curtains for Sri Lanka although Gunathilaka was still left in the middle. Following Dushmantha Chameera’s dismissal Gunathilaka too was bowled by a very quick Lockie Ferguson delivery for a fighting 30.
Ish Sodhi removed Sri Lanka’s last two wickets as the hosts registered a 115-run win to seal the ODI series 3-0. Sri Lanka were all out for 249 runs in 41.4 overs.
The two teams will now meet on the 11th Friday for the only T20I at Eden Park in Auckland.
NZ won by 115 runs
New Zealand ‘s Innings
|Martin Guptill||c K Mendis b L Malinga||2||5|
|Coin Munro||b L Malinga||21||14|
|Kane Williamson||c D De Silva b L Sandakan||55||65|
|Ross Taylor||c D De Silva b L Malinga||137||131|
|Henry Nicholls||not out||124||80|
|James Neesham||not out||12||6|
|Dhananjaya de Silva||6||0||35||0||5.83|
Sri Lanka’s Innings
|Niroshan Dickwella||c L Ferguson b J Neesham||46||37|
|Dhananjaya de Silva||lbw by T Southee||36||29|
|Kusal Janith||c T Seifert b L Ferguson||43||49|
|Kusal Mendis||(runout) K Williamson||0||0|
|Dasun Shanaka||lbw by I Sodhi||2||7|
|Thisara Perera||c M Guptill b L Ferguson||80||63|
|Danushka Gunathilaka||b L Ferguson||31||52|
|Dushmantha Chameera||c T Southee b L Ferguson||1||8|
|Lasith Malinga||st T Seifert b I Sodhi||0||1|
|Lakshan Sandakan||not out||0||1|
|Nuwan Pradeep||b I Sodhi||0||3|