New Zealand clinch a low-scoring thriller
by CricketArchive Staff Reporter

Ground:R Premadasa Stadium, Colombo
Scorecard:Sri Lanka v New Zealand
Player:TM Dilshan, SE Bond, JDP Oram, LRPL Taylor
Event:New Zealand in Sri Lanka 2009

DateLine: 2nd September 2009


A match that fluctuated at almost every turn finally settled in New Zealandís favour as they registered their first international win of their current tour of Sri Lanka, beating the hosts by three runs to win the first T20 match of the series.


New Zealand, in their stipulated 20 overs, had to settle for a modest total of 141/8. Sri Lanka, in reply, lost their way after the pyrotechnics of Tillekeratne Dilshan to score 138 for the loss of nine wickets in their 20 overs.


Vettori had won the toss and though there was rain in the atmosphere he decided to bat. McCullum who had a bad run in the Test series was expected to come to the fore in the T20 format. He found a boundary early in the innings but he was unfortunate to be run-out when a straight drive from Ryder deflected from Kulasekara's fingertips to the stumps at non-strikerís end to be run-out.


Ryder followed when he lofted a catch into the hands of Malinga Bandara running back from mid-off. Taylor combined with Martin Guptill to add 53 off 41 balls to stage a recovery act. Both the batsmen took time to settle down and once they got the feel off the pitch and the atmosphere began to launch into some powerful and lovely shots. Guptill looked set for a good score when he miscued a slog sweep to be caught at square-leg.


Taylor got to his fifty in 37 balls but he could not kick on as Malingaís precise yorkers were too difficult to put away. Jacob Oram fell for 8 off 13 deliveries, holing out to Kulasekara at mid-off in Mendis' final over. Taylor fell in Mathews' next over, giving Kulasekara another catch in the deep. Mathews returned a flat throw to help run out Peter McGlashan and Malinga returned to york out Kyle Mills and Vettori with consecutive deliveries in the 20th over.


In reply the way Dilshan batted it was evident that the game might be over by the 15th over. Bond, returning to the Kiwi colours after a two-year hiatus, was given a rude welcome by Dilshan. Bond was given a crash course as to how the game had changed in the two years time as he was dismissed for heart-breaking sixteen runs in his opening over.


Mills got rid off Jayasuriya in the second over off the innings but it did not have any sort of effect on Dilshan. He was looking in absolutely good nick and it was evident with two monstrous sixers in one over off Mills. Jayawardene was run-out by a direct hit from Ryder at point but it did not deter Dilshan as he crashed a couple of boundaries in the next over to balance the equation.


Sangakkara got a boundary but in the next over from Vettori he chipped a lame catch to McCullum at midwicket as Sri Lanka lost their third wicket. Then came the body-blow as Dilshan couldnít control his shot making urges as he chipped a wide one from Butler to Ryder at point who took a low catch.


Kapugedera had a brain freeze moment when he tried to heave one across the line from Butler to be cleaned up. Mathews threw his bat around for some time to raise hopes in the Lankan camp but it was all too brief as Oram came back to clean up the tail and claim a rare hattrick in T20 format.


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