Dilshan ton puts SL ahead
Tillakaratne Dilshan hit 102* to take Sri Lanka home in their chase in the rain hit 3rd ODI at Pallekele on Tuesday.
After being put in to bat first, New Zealand faced two lengthy rain interruptions which eventually led to the game being shortened to a 33 overs a side contest. BJ Watling’s 96* (88b, 4x12), his fourth fifty in his last 5 ODIs took the Kiwis to 188/6 in their 33 overs.
NZ could have posted a higher total if Watling had received greater support from the other batsmen. Only partnerships of 56 with Franklin (26, 25b, 4x2, 6x1) for the fifth wicket and an unbeaten 71 run stand with Nathan McCullum (22*, 18b, 4x2) for the seventh wicket helped NZ eventually reach 188.
The revised target for Sri Lanka under the Duckworth-Lewis method was set at 197 from 33 overs. Dilshan lost three partners, Upul Tharanga (10), Kumar Sangakkara (15) and Mahela Jayawardene (5) for very little but he kept SL’s innings chugging along at a good rate.
Dilshan’s shots came off well and he kept taking the risks to keep Sri Lanka in the chase. NZ’s bowlers had a problem with the dew resulting in a wet ball but the fielders worked hard to deny SL easy runs. The asking rate grew steadily during the partnership for the fourth wicket with Angelo Mathews but the duo waited to take SL closer before breaking out.
Dilshan brought up his fifty off 54b while Angelo Mathews’ fifty came off just 46b. When the last powerplay began, SL needed 26 to win from 4 fours with Dilshan on 79* off 85b. He raced to bring up his 100 with a six off Southee (94b), bringing the equation down to 1 needed off 12b by the time he was done.
Angelo Mathews hit the winning runs to finish on 54 (47b, 4x7) while Dilshan was on 102* (95b, 4x12, 6x1) when their unbeaten partnership of 127 for the fourth wicket took Sri Lanka over the line in just 31.1 overs.
The 7 wicket win put Sri Lanka 2-0 ahead in the rain-affected 5 ODI series with 2 games left to be played.