Sri Lanka vs New Zealand T20 Series 2019 – Let’s talk Numbers

(Image courtesy – AFP)

Following a 1-1 draw in the Test series, the two teams, Sri Lanka and New Zealand will feature in a 3-match T20 Series beginning on 1st September 2019. Let’s take a closer look at the T20I numbers between these two sides. 

Since 2006

The two sides met for the first time in a T20I game at Wellington in 2006. Stephen Fleming captained the hosts while Mahela Jayawardene led the visitors. Sri Lanka won the inaugural encounter by 18 runs according to the D/L method. Responding to New Zealand’s 162/8, Sri Lanka needed 45 runs from 5.5 overs and Sanath Jayasuriya slammed an explosive 51 in 23 deliveries to seal the win.

New Zealand recorded their first ever win against Sri Lanka during the following T20I at Auckland by 5 wickets. 

Perhaps one of the most memorable T20I battles between them happened during the 2012 World Cup. In the group stage match at Pallekele, New Zealand batted first, piling up 174 runs in 20 overs while the hosts responded with exactly 174, leading the match into a super over to break the tie. The one over eliminator saw Sri Lanka scoring 13 runs but New Zealand were only able to respond with 7 to Malinga’s bowling. However, the highlight of this stellar game was the ‘gentlemanly gesture’ of Brendon McCullum as he refused to take the single and attended to Akila Dananjaya after a Rob Nicol shot hit the debutant’s face. Had he taken the run, the eventual outcome could have narrated a different story. 

(Image courtesy – AFP)

Sri Lanka vs New Zealand overall T20 record head to head – 

  • Played – 16
  • New Zealand – 8 
  • Sri Lanka – 6
  • Tied – 1
  • No result – 1 

Recap of the last decade

New Zealand traveled to Sri Lanka in 2009 and during the tour, both T20s were won by the visitors. In 2012, the two sides met in the USA and the two match series ended 1-1. In the years 2012 and 2013, New Zealand’s tours to the paradise island featured a T20 in each. In 2012 it ended without a result and in 2013 Sri Lanka won the solitary game.

The two sides met in a T20 during the 2014 World Cup in Chittagong. Considered as one of the best Sri Lankan comebacks in the shortest format, the Lions pulled off a dramatic win by defending a mere 119. Rangana Herath’s nifty spin bulldozed the Blackcaps as he claimed a staggering 5 wickets for 3 runs, dismantling a pursuit which crumbled for 60 runs.

In 2016, New Zealand hosted Sri Lanka in 2 T20Is which were both won by them. In January 2019, New Zealand won the solitary T20 they hosted at Auckland. 

2009Sri LankaNew Zealand2-0
2010United StatesDraw1-1
2012Sri LankaDrawNo result (one T20)
2013Sri LankaSri Lanka1-0
2016New ZealandNew Zealand2-0
2019New ZealandNew Zealand1-0


In the Lion’s Den

Sri Lanka first hosted New Zealand in an international T20I in 2009 at the RPS. 

Sri Lanka vs New Zealand head to head T20 record in Sri Lanka –

  • Played – 5
  • New Zealand – 2
  • Sri Lanka – 1
  • Tied – 1
  • No result – 1 

Pallekele International Stadium 

(Image courtesy – Getty Images)

One of the most scenic venues in the world, the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium has hosted 11 T20s featuring Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka’s overall T20 record at Pallekele – 

  • Played – 11
  • Won – 7
  • Lost – 2

The two teams have met at the venue on 3 occasions. 

Sri Lanka vs New Zealand head to head T20 record at Pallekele – 

  • Played – 3 
  • Sri Lanka – 1
  • New Zealand – 0
  • Tied – 1
  • No result – 1 

Team Records

  • Highest team total – 182/4 (New Zealand at Mount Maunganui, 2016)
  • Highest team total (for SL) – 179/9 (at Mount Maunganui, 2016)
  • Lowest team total – 60 all out (New Zealand at Chittagong, 2014)
  • Lowest team total (for SL) – 92 all out (at Lauderhill, 2010)

Batting Records 

  • Most runs – TM Dilshan (324 runs in 13 innings) (Avg. 32.40)
  • Most runs (for NZ) – Martin Guptill (298 runs in 10 innings) (Avg. 29.80)
  • Most runs in Sri Lanka – TM Dilshan (195 runs in 5 innings) (Avg. 65.00)
  • Most runs for New Zealand (in SL) – Ross Taylor (103 runs in 4 innings) (Avg. 25.75)
  • Highest individual score – Angelo Mathews (81* at Auckland, 2016), Mahela Jayawardene (81 at Providence, 2010)
  • Highest individual score (for NZ) – Martin Guptill (63 at Auckland, 2016)

Bowling Records

  • Most wickets – Lasith Malinga (13 wickets in 12 innings) (Avg. 22.69)
  • Most wickets (for NZ) – Nathan McCullum (7 wickets in 8 innings) (Avg. 22.57)
  • Most wickets in Sri Lanka – Nuwan Kulasekara (6 wickets in 5 innings) (Avg. 23.00)
  • Most wickets for New Zealand (in SL) – Jacob Oram (5 wickets in 4 innings) (Avg. 17.80)
  • Best bowling – Rangana Herath (5 for 3 at Chittagong, 2014)
  • Best bowling (for NZ) – Grant Elliott (4 for 22 at Auckland, 2016)

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