Sri Lanka get better of New Zealand
by CricketArchive Staff Reporter

Ground:Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium, Dambulla
Scorecard:Multan v Bahawalpur
Player:BJ Watling, WU Tharanga
Event:Sri Lanka Tri Series 2010

DateLine: 13th August 2010


Sri Lanka very nearly snatched defeat from the jaws of win as they defeated New Zealand in the second match of the tri-series. The encounter was much close than expected as the Kiwis never really lose hope as they demonstrated the fighting spirit that is associated with the New Zealand sides of the past.


It was a no-brainer as Ross Taylor elected to bat first after winning the toss. The BJ Watling was making his debut and the youngster became the seventh New Zealander to post a score of more that 50 in the debut innings. Malinga began the proceedings with a no-ball before persuading Guptill to play across the line and spoon a simple catch to point. Skipper Taylor was in earlier than he would have liked and he along with Watling kept the innings afloat. For about 8.4 overs things looked good for the Kiwis before Angelo Mathews struck as he trapped the Kiwi skipper leg before.


Scott Styris was once again involved in a damage control mode and once the feisty all-rounder was dismissed things began to go pear-shape for the New Zealanders. Wicket fell in a cluster and barring a fighting half-century from Watling and a dogged resistance from Nathan McCullum from lower order none did anything of note. New Zealand in 48.1 overs were all-out for a paltry score of 192.


Sri Lanka in reply received a jolt early in the innings when Dilshan spooned an easy return catch to Mills. From there on Lankan skipper Sangakkara and opener Tharanga kept the Lankan innings well on course for the bonus point with an authoritative 85 run partnership in 17.5 overs before a brilliant catch from Guptill terminated the innings of Sangakkara. Jayawardene chipped a simple catch to Taylor at covers but the Lankan innings was never in danger of being derailed.


Once Tharanga and Samaraweera felt that they were comfortable to shift gears they opted for the batting powerplay in the 35th over. From then on an artificial excitement was pumped into the game and it seemed at one point that the Kiwis were storming back into the match.


Tharanga holed out into the deep while Kulasekara and Herath fell in attempting to help Lanka get the bonus point. Samaraweera who felt the futility of going after the bonus point brought some sense of calm to the innings and finally got the Lankans across the line.