Dominant New Zealand clinch T20I series at Pallekele

Another clinical performance from New Zealand was enough to see them clinch T20I series over Sri Lanka as the visitors cruised to a four-wicket win in Pallekele on Tuesday.

Tim Southee and co. once again delivered a clinical performance with bat and ball to register a comfortable win over Sri Lanka and go 2-0 up in the three-match T20I series..

The day started with Sri Lanka Captain Lasith Malinga winning the toss and opting to bat first on a belter of a surface. The decision proved to be a correct one as Kusal Mendis and Kusal Perera added 34 runs in the first five overs. New Zealand made a strong comeback and dismissed Mendis and Perera in quick succession.

From there on, it was Avishka Fernando and Niroshan Dickwella, who put in decent scores to help Sri Lanka post 161 for the loss of nine wickets in their allotted 20 overs.

Wicket-keeper batsman Niroshan Dickwella finished the innings with the top score of 39 off 30 balls including three boundaries and a six, whereas Avishka Fernando made valuable contribution of 37 runs off 25 with the help of three fours and a six.

Colin de Grandhomme and Tom Bruce scored half-centuries to see New Zealand seal the T20I series at Pallekele

Chasing 162 to win the T20I series, Sri Lanka made early inroads with the new-ball and reduced New Zealand to 38 for 3 in 3.4 overs. Off-spinner Akila Dhananjaya picked up three wickets to keep Sri Lanka in a good position to win the game.

The game turned on its head as Colin de Grandhomme and Tom Bruce put on a massive 111-run partnership to put New Zealand in a strong position to seal the series.

All-rounder Colin de Grandhomme finished the innings with the top score of 59 off 46 with the help of three sixes and two boundaries, and he was equally well supported by Tom Bruce, who scored 53 off 46 balls with the help of three boundaries.

For Sri Lanka, off-spinner Akila Dhananjaya was the pick of the bowlers with three wickets to his name. Wanindu Hasaranga and Isuru Udana also picked up one wicket each.

For his outstanding bowling performance, Captain Tim Southee was awarded man of the match.

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