Sri Lanka Board President’s XI no match for New Zealand
New Zealand made good use of the T20 tour game against Sri Lanka Board President’s XI, beating the local side by 33 runs on Thursday at Marians Cricket Grounds in Katunayake.
Ahead of the upcoming three-match T20I series in Pallekelle, the visitors were desperate for some action despite the continuous rain in Colombo this week.
Following their brilliant win in the second Test to level the series, 1-1, the Blackcaps inserted some of their T20 specialists, who joined the squad in the past week for this sole warm-up match.
After a one and half hour delay due to the wet outfield, play began with the Kiwis opting to bat first. The New Zealand openers Colin Munro and Martin Guptill got the visitors off to a blistering start as Nuwan Pradeep and Kasun Rajitha, who’re both in the Sri Lanka squad for the T20Is were taken to the cleaners. Even Danushka Gunathilaka’s part-time spin were not enough to stop the Munro-Guptill combination.
Munro retired after smashing seven fours and a six during his 27-ball 48 as the openers were separated at the end of the 8th over. Guptill, uncharacteristically scored less than a run-a-ball before being bowled by Shehan Jayasuriya for 22.
Tim Seifert and Tom Bruce slowed down the scoring-rate as Wanindu Hasaranga triumphed with his leg-spin. Both Seifert and Bruce were stumped by Sadeera Samarawickrama off Hasaranga as the visitors were four down to just 105 after 13 overs. Experienced Ross Taylor bludgeoned the Lankan bowlers in quick time, accumulating 53 off 34 balls with 4 huge sixes. He, too retired in the dying stages of the innings as New Zealand ended on 168 for 6.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XkImoZFHz7w&t=2s
The home team lost Sadeera Samarawickrama and Danushka Gunathilaka inside the first four overs as Scott Kuggelejin made early inroads. The Kiwi bowlers maintained the control by taking wickets at regular intervals to halt any momentum for the hosts.
Bhanuka Rajapaksha, Shehan Jayasuriya and Dasun Shanaka got starts by scoring 20+ but the task of going after the target of 169 was too tough as they failed to make sizeable contributions. Apart of Kuggelejin’s three wicket-haul, leg-spinner Ish Sodhi, too picked up three wickets.
Teams will now move to the hill-capital, Kandy where Sri Lanka led by Lasith Malinga will take on New Zealand in a three-match T20I series starting from Sunday.
Match Replay – New Zealand vs Sri Lanka Board President’s XI – T20 Match