Sri Lanka's chase barely came up short as they failed to catch up to a target of 183 runs in their first Twenty20 match. They lost in the final over as they posted 179 runs, narrowly missing the mark. They needed 19 runs from the last two overs. Mitchell McClenaghan did his part in allowing just 6 runs in the second last over. That left them requiring 13 runs off the final over, but Grant Elliot held them at bay.
New Zealand faced Sri Lanka at the Mount Maunganui's Bay Oval today in front of a sold out crowd of 7845 spectators. New Zealand put up a score of 182 runs for 4 wickets to set the target.
The New Zealand batsmen notched a score of 182 runs for 4 wickets. They were led by Martin Guptill who scored 58 runs from 34 balls. He hit four sixes and four fours along the way. He blazed from the start as he had 36 runs off just 11 deliveries. He was run out on a throw from Chamara Kapugedera. Said Kane Williamson, New Zealand's captain, "Martin is batting unbelievably and it's great to watch."
Guptill is in fine form recently. He comes off a one day series where he made 331 runs. He had an average of 82.75 runs in that competition.
Williamson himself added 53 runs off 42 balls as the second highest scorer for New Zealand. He was caught on a delivery by Kulasekara. Kulasekara took 2 wickets while allowing 36 runs. Colin Munro scored 36 runs before being caught and bowled by Kulasekara. Ross Taylor added 22 runs of just 9 balls.
Trent Boult came up huge for New Zealand as he took 3 wickets, including that of Siriwardana, in just 4 overs while allowing 21 runs. He was awarded the Man of the Match honours. For the opponents, opener Danushka Gunathilaka led the way for Sri Lanka with an impressive 46 runs. Milinda Siriwardana's 42 further kept them in the chase.
This match will serve as a good warm up for the upcoming T20 tournament in India in March.