New Zealand registered a thrilling 4 wicket win in the 2nd T20I played at Palleke International Stadium, Kandy on Tuesday.
Sri Lankan captain Lasith Malinga won the toss again and elected to bat first. Kusal Mendis played with positive intent and put pressure on New Zealand opening bowling pair. Rance got the breakthrough dismissing Kusal Mendis for 26. Mendis and Kusal Perera added 34 runs for opening wicket. At the end of 6 overs, Sri Lanka were 38 for 1.
Soon after the power play overs, Kusal Perera was dismissed by Ish Sodhi for 11. Avishka Fernando and Niroshan Dickwella steadied the hosts with good stroke play putting pressure on New Zealand bowlers. As things were looking good for Sri Lanka, New Zealand captain Tim Southee got the breakthrough dismissing Avishka Fernando. Fernando and Dickwella added 68 runs for 3rd wicket.
The New Zealand bowlers made a strong comeback to pick wickets at regular intervals and control the run flow. Shehan Jayasuriya scored 20 off 13 balls before being dismissed by Tim Southee. Sri Lanka was restricted to 161 for 9 in 20 overs.
Chasing 162 runs to win, Colin Munro and Tim Seifert added 19 runs for the opening wicket in quick time. Akila Danajaya got the breakthrough dismissing Colin Munro for 15. Akila Danajaya dismissed Scott Kuggleijin and Tim Seifert in quick succession to leave New Zealand in trouble at 38 for 3. Colin de Grandhomme and Tom Bruce took the attack to Sri Lankan bowlers. At the end of 6 overs, New Zealand were 59 for 3.
After the power play overs, de Grandhomme and Bruce continued their aggressive approach. De Grandhomme and Bruce played the Sri Lankan spinners brilliantly. De Grandhomme reached his fifty off 37 balls. As things looked dangerous, Udana got the breakthrough dismissing de Grandhomme for 59. De Grandhomme and Bruce added 109 runs for the 4th wicket. Bruce also completed his 50 off 44 balls.
With 7 runs needed off 6 balls, Hasaranaga ran out Bruce and then dismissed Mitchell to give Sri Lanka a chance of winning the match. Mitchell Santer hit a six and four to give New Zealand a thrilling 4 wicket win.
New Zealand 165 for 6 in 19.4 overs (Colin de Grandhomme 59, Tom Bruce 53, Danajaya 3/36) beat Sri Lanka 161 for 9 in 20 overs ( Dickwella 39, Avishka Fernando 37, Rance 3/33, Tim Southee 2/18) by 4 wickets.
With this win, New Zealand has won the T20I series. The third and final T20I will be played on 6th September.