Out walks Maverick McCullum and the magic begins.
Ball 1: a brilliantly flighted delivery, McCullum comes forward and plays a solid defensive shot.
Ball 2: another flighted delivery, this time angling towards the leg, McCullum looks to work it off his toes but misses.
Ball 3: flight and dip once again, McCullum pads it into the covers.
The nerves are palpable now. No way McCullum will play down another dot ball, regardless of the fact that New Zealand only require just over 6 per over.
Ball 4: the arm ball, quicker and with less flight this time, McCullum wears it on his pad. A huge appeal goes up but the ball is heading down the leg and the appeal is rightfully denied.
Ball 5: more tempting flight, this time a little wider. McCullum can no longer resist, he’s lured out of his crease swing from his hips. The ball spins past the flashing blade and Sanga does the rest.
In his next over, the last of the powerplay, Herath gets his chance against Ross Taylor, arguably New Zealand’s best player of spin bowling at the time.
Ball 1: tossed up on middle, Taylor defends as McCullum had before him
Ball 2: the ball rips away from Taylor who does well to get his behind it at the last moment.
Ball 3: another one coming into the pads, the ball lobs to short leg, a stifled appeal declined.
Ball 4: this one spins away and catches Taylor on his back pad. Caught right in front of the stumps, Taylor is lucky to survive.
Loud curses and shouts of “Umpire Hora” reverberate in the living rooms around Sri Lanka, is this the turning point of the game?
Ball 5: This time Taylor is nailed right in front of middle. He comes forward to defend but doesn’t cover the line.
A couple of quiet overs later he picks up another wicket, albeit the lucky one of Kyle Mills; another nail in the coffin.
Herath comes back in to the attack. With Williamson still at the crease, New Zealand clung on to hope but with 61 required off the last 5 overs, this time it would be New Zealand who were in need of a miracle. Their slim thread of hope was snipped in two when confusion in running between the wickets saw Williamson short of the crease as Herath whipped off the bails at the non-striker’s end.
Mitchell McClenaghan, who had earlier taken 2/24 to help restrict the Sri Lankans, now walked in as New Zealand’s last batsman. Trent Boult however, would be the man to face up to Herath.
1st ball: a characteristically flighted delivery, just outside the off stump. Boult pushes it towards mid-on but there’s no run there as Herath races after it.
2nd ball: The batsman races down the pitch, Herath drops it short, Boult tries to ride the ensuing spin but guides the ball straight into the waiting hands of Mahela Jayawardene at slip.