NZ edge out SL in thriller
New Zealand beat Sri Lanka by 1 wicket in their 2013 ICC Champions Trophy fixture at Cardiff on Sunday, making heavy weather of a chase of just 138 to post 139/9 in 36.3 overs.
Sri Lanka never knew what hit them. Tillakaratne Dilshan had put aside the first ball dismissal of Kusal Perera behind and with an 18 ball 20 was threatening to give Sri Lanka another dominant platform to build a big total on. Then McClenaghan (4/43), Mills (2/14) and McCullum (Nathan, 2/23) struck as SL first collapsed first to 34/4, then 82/6 and finally were bowled out for 138.
Kumar Sangakarra stood tall each side of a middle order collapse and was the only batsman from either side to cross 50, posting 68 out of Sri Lanka’s tiny total. Daniel Vettori marked his return to international cricket with the wicket of Mahela Jayawardene, trapped LBW in his first over in two years. Vettori finished with respectable figures of 1/16 from 6 overs.
Shaminda Eranga (2/45), Rangana Herath (1/36) and Lasith Malinga fought back well for Sri Lanka, reducing NZ to first 49/4 then 80/6. Dilshan (1/12) struck too, trapping James Frankling LBW for just 6.
The Kiwi brothers Nathan (32) and Brendon (18) McCullum though fought on, building on a platform laid by Martin Guptill (25) and Kane Williamson (16) to take NZ closer.
Malinga (4/34) provided a final burst with just about 20 runs left to defend, removing the brothers to leave NZ dangling at 122/8. Tim Southee, Mills and McClenaghan hung on tight and put up an able rearguard, defying Malinga’s searing yorkers to take NZ over the line with just 1 wicket and 13.3 overs to spare.