Captain Lasith Malinga produced a sensational spell of bowling to help Sri Lanka beat New Zealand in the third and final game of T20I series played at Pallekele International Cricket Stadium. With this result, Sri Lanka managed to earn a consolation victory and end their home series on a positive note.
For New Zealand, it was a historic achievement as they clinched their maiden T20I series win in Sri Lanka. Captain Tim Southee was pleased with his side’s efforts despite losing the final game of the T20I series.
Chasing 126 runs to win, Colin Munro once again failed to produce big runs as pacer Lasith Malinga provided early breakthrough for India. Wicket-keeper Tim Seifert’s woeful run continued he was dismissed by Malinga to see Australia placed in a precarious situation at 15 for 2 after 2.4 overs.
All-rounder Colin de Grandhomme perished for a first-ball duck as Malinga picked a hat-trick to see New Zealand lose their third wicket in the same over. Ross Taylor also could not last long as he trapped right in front to see New Zealand slump to 15 for 4 after three overs.
Captain Tim Southee and Mitchell Santner produced double digit scores to save New Zealand from humiliation. Southee finished the innings with the top-score of 28 not out off 23 balls with the help of three boundaries. Santner also scored 16 off 15 balls with the help of one boundary.
The spin trio of Wanindu Hasaranga, Akila Dhananjaya and Lakshan Sandakan cleaned up the lower-order to see Sri Lanka register a comfortable win over New Zealand.
Lasith Malinga picked four wickets in four balls to see Sri Lanka successfully defend a modest total against New Zealand in the final T20I played at Pallekele
For Sri Lanka, Captain Lasith Malinga produced in special effort with the ball and finished with figures of 5 for 6 in his four overs. Off-spinner Akila Dhananjaya also bowled well and picked up two wickets.
Earlier in the day, Sri Lanka won the toss and elected to bat first. Kusal Mendis was replaced by Danushka Gunathilaka for this game. Wicket-keeper Kusal Perera once again perished for a low score to see Mitchell Santner provide early wicket for New Zealand. Leg-spinner Todd Astle dismissed in-form batsman Avishka Fernando to see Sri Lanka reduced to 39 for 2 after 6.4 overs.
Opening batsman Danushka Gunathilaka got the side off to a brisk start despite the loss of early wickets. He scored 30 runs off 25 balls with the help of four boundaries. He was dismissed by Todd Astle while trying to go for a big shot.
Niroshan Dickwella and Lahiru Madushanka chipped in with crucial score to see Sri Lanka push their score beyond 100 runs. Dickwella once again put in decent show with the bat and scored 24 off 15 balls with the help of three boundaries. Madushanka also scored 20 off 23 balls with the help of one boundary.
For New Zealand, Captain Tim Southee was the standout bowler in this game as well. He did not picked up a wicket but conceded only 16 runs in his four overs. Left-arm spinner Mitchell Santner bowled exceedingly well and finished with figures of 3 for 12 in his four overs. Leg-spinner Todd Astle also picked up three wickets in the game.