High scoring tour ends with disappointing result for Sri Lanka
Sri Lankan batsmen once again succumbed to the Kiwi pressure, failing to score 180 runs in a ground with short boundaries in the only T20I between the teams at the Eden Park in Auckland.
The Sri Lankan run chase started with an early blow as Lockie Ferguson bowled Sadeera Samarawickrama in the 4th ball of the innings with a delivery that was just too quick to handle at almost 149 kmph. Niroshan Dickwella who started his innings with a four and a six off the first two balls of the innings lasted only 10 deliveries as he top edged Doug Bracewell to be dismissed for 18 runs.
Just before Dickwella got out Kusal Perera’s 12-ball cameo of 23 runs was brought to an end by debutant Scot Kuggeleijn. Kusal Mendis and Thisara Perera then added 39 steady runs for the 5th wicket to take Sri Lanka from 45/3 in the 3rd over to 94 in the 10th over.
The Sri Lankan hopes were scattered thereafter as Kusal Mendis, Thisara Perera, Dhananjaya de Silva and Dasun Shanaka all were dismissed within 4.3 overs. The Sri Lankan innings eventually ended on 144 in 16.5 overs.
Thisara Perera once again was the only ray of hope for Sri Lanka with 43 runs. Lockie Ferguson was very impressive with 3 wickets. The yorker he bowled to dismiss Dhananjaya de Silva was a very special delivery which clearly depicts the potential he’s got in him. Ish Sodhi once again showed why he’s the best T20I bowler for New Zealand with 3 vital wickets.
Earlier in the day, Lasith Malinga gave Sri Lanka a perfect start when he got rid of Martin Guptill with the 4th ball of his first over after he won the toss and opted to bowl first on a flat track surrounded by very short boundaries.
Tim Seifter, Henry Nicholls and Colin Munro were also dismissed in the coming overs leaving New Zealand struggling on 27 for 4 in 3.3 overs. The two opening bowlers for Sri Lanka, Lasith Malinga and Kasun Rajitha shared the first 4 wickets equally between them.
Lakshan Sandakan also struck in his first over when he brought the mini repair by Mitchell Santner and Ross Taylor to an end with Santner’s wicket. Doug Bracewell then put on 47 quick runs with Taylor for the 6th wicket taking New Zealand from 55/5 to 102/6 by the 15th over.
Following Taylor’s dismissal Scot Kuggeleijn and Bracewell started hammering the Lankan bowlers to all parts. The duo added 41 runs in 2.4 overs, scoring 17 and 18 runs respectively in consecutive overs by Thisara Perera and Kasun Rajitha.
Scot Kuggeleijn once again scored 17 off Kasun Rajitha’s final over taking New Zealand to 179.
With the loss in their final game of the tour, Sri Lanka will leave New Zealand for Australia with no wins under their belt in 2019.