New Zealand sealed the 3-match T20I series against Sri Lanka with a game to spare as they recorded a convincing 4-wicket win in the second game of the series at the Pallekele Internationa Cricket Stadium on Tuesday night (3rd September).
Once again for the second time, the Sri Lankan skipper Lasith Malinga made an odd call to bat first against the Kiwis. Despite losing the first T20I, due to a gutsy chase staged by the Kiwis, Malinga decided to give his young batsmen an opportunity to bat freely.
“How ever much they score, we are going to defend it” – Lasith Malinga
Kusal Mendis finds form!
The two Kusals opened the innings for Sri Lanka once again.
Coming back from his best ever T20I knock, Kusal Mendis started off with a boundary through mid-wicket, announcing his form. He found his timing right from the word go as he dispatched a short ball from Seth Rance, right off the middle of his bat, with a beauty of a pull over square leg.
But he probably went a little too hard at it early on as he played a slow-ball from Rance a little too early and it ballooned to mid-off.
Kusal Perera though sunk to his own misery as his dent in form got the better of him. He departed an over later dragging an outside the off-stump delivery onto his stumps.
The middle-order carrying through
Sri Lanka struck at a decent strike rate in the first 10 overs, finding themselves at 69 for 2 at the midway mark.
Avishka Fernando, who failed to deliver in the first match, came back strong with a power-packed performance with the bat. Even though he did not capitalize on the start he got, he scored a brisk 37 off just 25 balls. He too fell prey to another change of pace from the Kiwis, spooning it to mid-off.
He was followed by Dasun Shanaka who went back with a first-ball duck. He was struck plumb in front of the stumps by Scott Kuggeleijn.
Niroshan Dickwella produced another impactful knock as the left-hander scored 39 runs off 30.
A lot of hope was then placed on Shehan Jayasuriya who did not get enough attention in the first game. He struck some mighty blows as he started his scoring with a flashy off-drive through the covers.
Jayasuriya too failed to convert it into something big but his knock was immensely valuable. He made 20 off 13 before top-edging one to the covers.
With yet again a bit of excitement from Udana at the bottom Sri Lanka ended up with a below-par 161 in their quota.
Seth Rance reply!
Seth Rance, who was expensive in the first game, came back with a brilliant spell of 3 for 33 doing a lot of damage to the Sri Lankans. Impressive Mitchell Santner went wicketless today as skipper Southee and Kuggeleijn picked up two wickets each.
Akila the leg-spinner is born?
New Zealand began their run chase with a lot of aggression as they started with a 14-run first over off Malinga.
Akila Dananjaya was brilliant today. Dananjaya got rid of the dangerous Colin Munro in his very first over to put New Zealand in a spot of bother.
But the scoring rate never came down as they kept striking at 10-runs an over. Then came Dananjaya’s second over, he struck Kuggeleijn in front of his pads with a leg-break, a ball later he trapped Tim Seifert in front of his stumps with a wrong’un. He bowled more leg-breaks and googlies in his spell than off-spinners.
Black Cap’s highest partnership against SL happened again!
The utility player of New Zealand, Colin de Grandhomme joined Tom Bruce for the 4th wicket at 3 for 38.
Those 3 wickets that Akila managed in the first 4 overs was all that Sri Lanka could get till the 19th over of the game.
It was plenty of frustration, stolen singles and sledgehammer strikes to the cricket ball both along the ground and over the top during that period for the Lankans.
De Grandhomme was sensational with the bat in hand as he produced a wonderful 59 from 46 balls. Tom Bruce made a valuable 53 runs.
The two of them put up a 109-run partnership bringing New Zealand close to victory. De Grandhomme was involved in a 74-run partnership for the 4th wicket with Ross Taylor in the first T20I which was the highest against Sri Lanka in that position.
Isuru Udana stood out
Proving all his quality in this format of the game, Isuru Udana ended a spell of 3 overs for 18 runs with 1 wicket to show, including a superb penultimate over in which he got the price wicket of De Grandhomme.
Exciting Wanindu Hasaranga
Yet another nail-biter. Equation, 7 off 6. Wanindu was given the bowl and he picks up a run out with extremely quick reflexes and presence of mind. Next he gets rid of Daryl Mitchell, caught at long on. And then he nearly produced another wicket when he got Mitchell Santner slogging at a wrong’un which was caught brilliantly by Shehan Jayasuriya before he collided into Kusal Mendis and tumbled upon the ropes. Six runs were awarded for that hit and New Zealand won the 2nd T20I and sealed the series 2-0 after all the drama in the very next ball.
Match Replay: New Zealand tour of Sri Lanka 2019 – 1st T20I Match
|Kusal Mendis||c Tim Southee b Seth Rance||26||24||2||2||108.33|
|Kusal Perera||b Ish Sodhi||11||10||0||0||110.00|
|Avishka Fernando||c Mitchell Santner b Tim Southee||37||25||3||1||148.00|
|Niroshan Dickwella||lbw b Seth Rance||39||30||3||1||130.00|
|Dasun Shanaka||lbw b Scott Kuggeleijn||0||1||0||0||0.00|
|Shehan Jayasuriya||c Daryl Mitchell b Tim Southee||20||13||2||1||153.85|
|Wanindu Hasaranga||b Scott Kuggeleijn||11||7||1||0||157.14|
|Isuru Udana||c Daryl Mitchell b Seth Rance||13||8||1||0||162.50|
|Akila Dananjaya||run out (Seth Rance)||0||2||0||0||0.00|
|Lasith Malinga||not out||0||0||0||0||0.00|
|Extras||4 (b 0 , lb 4 , nb 0, w 0, pen 0)|
|Total||161/9 (20 Overs, RR: 8.05)|
|Fall of Wickets||1-34 (4.6) Kusal Mendis, 2-40 (6.2) Kusal Perera, 3-108 (13.4) Avishka Fernando, 4-110 (14.1) Dasun Shanaka, 5-122 (15.5) Niroshan Dickwella, 6-146 (17.5) Wanindu Hasaranga, 7-150 (18.3) Shehan Jayasuriya, 8-161 (19.5) Isuru Udana, 9-161 (19.6) Akila Dananjaya,|
|Colin Munro||c Wanindu Hasaranga b Akila Dananjaya||13||7||3||0||185.71|
|Tim Seifert (||lbw b Akila Dananjaya||15||9||3||0||166.67|
|Scott Kuggeleijn||lbw b Akila Dananjaya||8||5||0||1||160.00|
|Colin de Grandhomme||c Avishka Fernando b Isuru Udana||59||46||2||3||128.26|
|Tom Bruce||run out (Wanindu Hasaranga)||53||46||3||0||115.22|
|Daryl Mitchell||c Lahiru Madushanka b Wanindu Hasaranga||1||3||0||0||33.33|
|Mitchell Santner||not out||10||2||1||1||500.00|
|Tim Southee||not out||0||0||0||0||0.00|
|Extras||6 (b 0 , lb 2 , nb 0, w 4, pen 0)|
|Total||165/6 (19.4 Overs, RR: 8.39)|
|Fall of Wickets||1-19 (1.4) Colin Munro, 2-36 (3.2) Scott Kuggeleijn, 3-38 (3.4) Tim Seifert (, 4-147 (18.2) Colin de Grandhomme, 5-155 (19.1) Tom Bruce, 6-155 (19.2) Daryl Mitchell,|