Thanks to brilliance by Lasith Malinga, Sri Lanka registered a consolation win in the 3rd and final T20I played at Palleke International Stadium, Kandy on Friday.
Sri Lankan captain Lasith Malinga won the toss and decided to bat first again. Danushka Gunathilka played with positive intent and put pressure on New Zealand bowlers. Mitchell Santer got the breakthrough dismissing Kusal Perera cheaply. Sri Lankan openers added 31 runs for opening wicket. At the end of 6 overs, Sri Lanka were 36 for 1.
Mitchell Santer and Todd Astle kept the lid on Sri Lankan batsmen not allowing them to score runs easily on a tough batting pitch. New Zealand restricted Sri Lanka to 125 for 8 in 20 overs. Danushka Gunathilka was the top scorer for Sri Lanka with 30. Dickwella scored 24 while Madhushanka made 20 runs. Todd Astle and Mitchell Santer took 3 wickets each for New Zealand.
Chasing the target of 126 runs to win, Colin Munro started on a positive note scoring 12 off 12 balls. Lasith Malinga produced the magic getting wickets of Colin Munro, Hamish Rutherford, Colin de Grandhomme and Ross Taylor to leave New Zealand in tatters at 15 for 4. Malinga then got the wicket of Tim Seifert. New Zealand was tottering at 31 for 5 at the end of 6 overs.
Akila Danajaya joined in the party for Sri Lanka picking 2 wickets. Mitchell Santer scored 16 before being dismissed by Danajaya. New Zealand captain Tim Southee remained not out on 28. Sri Lanka registered a thumping 37 run win to win 3rd T20I.
There were many records created by Lasith Malinga in today’s match. He became the 1st bowler to pick 100 wickets in the shorter format. During his brilliant spell, he became the 8th bowler to pick up a hat-trick in T20Is.
Lasith Malinga bowled a brilliant spell and reminded us of old Malinga who bowled Yorkers at will and just changed the course of the game with his 5-wicket haul.
Sri Lanka 125 for 8 in 20 overs ( Danushka Gunathilka 30, Dickwella 24, Mitchell Santer 3/12, Todd Astle 3/28) beat New Zealand 88 in 16 overs ( Tim Southee 28*, Lasith Malinga 5/6) by 37 runs.