New Zealand defeated Sri Lanka by 3 runs in the first T20 match at Mount Maunganui earlier today. It was an exciting match as both teams played some excellent cricket in the match but New Zealand held their nerves to win a close match.
Chasing a target 183, the innings got off to a worse possible start, as SL lost Dilshan, Chandimal, Jayasuriya and Mathews. At the end of 5 overs, Sri Lanka were 42 for 4. After that Gunathilka and Siriwardana put up 42 runs stand for the fifth before Gunathilkha was dismissed for 46. Thisara Perera and Siriwardana then attacked the New Zealand bowling and scored 49 runs in next 5.1 overs. Perera was dismissed for 28 in 19 balls to leave Sri Lanka at 133 for 6 in the 15th over.
Siriwardana was dismissed for 42 and Sri Lanka were 153 for 7 in 17 overs. Kulasekara and Kapugedra put 20 quick fire runs to put Sri Lanka in touching of winning the match. Both were dismissed in the last over and the chances of winning the match for SL were over. Sri Lanka scored 179 for 9 in 20 overs and lost the match by 3 runs. The pick of the bowlers were Trent Boult and Matt Henry who picked 3 wickets each, Ish Sodhi and Grant Elliot picked 1 wicket each, the other dismissal was run out.
Earlier, Sri Lanka won the toss and elected to field. Martin Guptill and Kane Willamson gave the team a flying start as both of them scored at a fast pace. Both of them attacked the Sri Lankan bowling. Both also completed their half centuries. The first wicket fell at the score of 101 as Martin Guptill was dismissed for 58. Sri Lanka then pegged the New Zealand batting by slowing down the scoring. Kane Willamson was dismissed for 53 and then Colin Munro played an excellent knock of 36 off 22 balls. Taylor and Elliot gave the New Zealand innings a great ending and finished with a competitive total of 182 for 4 in 20 overs. The pick of the bowlers were Kulasekara who gave away 26 runs and picked 2 wickets. The rest of bowlers went for too many runs.
With this New Zealand take a 1-0 lead in the series. The second T20 match will be played on 10th January at Auckland.
New Zealand 182 for 4 in 20 overs ( Martin Guptill 58, Kane Willamson 53, Kulasekara 2/26)
Sri Lanka 179 for 9 in 20 overs ( Gunathilha 46, Siriwardana 42, Trent Boult 3/21)