Sri Lanka beat New Zealand by a Superover, in a thrilling 1st T20I, at Eden Park, Auckland, today.
New Zealand vs Sri Lanka, 1st T20I, Sri Lanka tour of New Zealand
New Zealand 196/8 (20 ov) & 8/2 (1 ov)
Sri Lanka 196/5 (20 ov) & 11/0 (0.3 ov)
Result - Sri Lanka won by superover
Sri Lanka claimed a dramatic Super Over win in the opening match of their three-game Twenty20 series against New Zealand on Sunday to earn their first victory on tour.
The match went to a tie-break decider after both teams chalked up 196 runs in a high-scoring thriller at Auckland's Eden Park.
New Zealand only made 8-2 off a tight Super Over bowled by spinner Maheesh Theekshana before Charith Asalanka smashed a six off the second ball of Sri Lanka's response, then sealed victory with a four.
It handed the tourists their first win of a month-long tour of New Zealand after losing the Test and one-day international series by the same 2-0 scoreline.
Black Caps tailender Ish Sodhi had earlier set up the Super Over finish when he tied the scores by calmly hoisting the last ball of their 50 overs for six off Sri Lanka captain Dasun Shanaka.
It completed a run chase that always looked unlikely for the home side but came alive when Rachin Ravindra scored 26 off 13 balls to follow key knocks from Daryl Mitchell (66 off 44) and Mark Chapman (33 off 23).
It left New Zealand needing 13 to win off the final over, a task that became harder to achieve when Adam Milne fell to the first delivery bowled by Shanaka.
Theekshana was a key performer with the ball, conceding 1-22 off four miserly overs, while fellow spinner Wanindu Hasaranga took 2-30 as the hosts struggled for enough momentum through the early overs.
Left-hander Asalanka top-scored in Sri Lanka's 196-5, striking six sixes in a rapid 67 off 41 balls.
He put on 103 for the fourth wicket with Kusal Perera, who returned from a long-term shoulder injury in style.
The experienced Perera scored a controlled 53 not out off 45 balls in what was his first match for Sri Lanka in any format since the 2021 T20 World Cup, having spent nearly 18 months out.
Kusal Mendis started the run-fest by blasting 25 off just nine deliveries, having lost opening partner Pathum Nissanka to the first ball of the match bowled by Milne.
New Zealand struggled for timing in the Super Over, losing the wickets of Jimmy Neesham and Mark Chapman, who struck a lone boundary.
The sides meet in the next T20 match in Dunedin on Wednesday before the series concludes in Queenstown next Saturday.
Sri Lanka Fall of wickets: 1-0 (Pathum Nissanka - 0.1 ov), 2-47 (Kusal Mendis - 3.2 ov), 3-65 (Dhananjaya de Silva - 5.1 ov), 4-168 (Charith Asalanka - 16.3 ov), 5-171 (Dasun Shanaka - 17.1 ov)
Hew Zealand Fall of wickets: 1-1 (Tim Seifert - 0.4 ov), 2-3 (Chad Bowes - 1.1 ov), 3-66 (Tom Latham - 7.4 ov), 4-132 (Mark Chapman - 14.1 ov), 5-144 (Daryl Mitchell - 15.4 ov), 6-156 (Jimmy Neesham - 16.6 ov), 7-184 (Adam Milne - 18.6 ov), 8-184 (Rachin Ravindra - 19.1 ov)
New Zealand: Chad Bowes, Tim Seifert, Tom Latham(WK/C),Daryl Mitchell, Mark Chapman, Jimmy Neesham, Rachin Ravindra, Adam Milne, Henry Shipley, Ish Sodhi, Ben Lister
Sri Lanka: Pathum Nissanka, Kusal Perera, Kusal Mendis(WK), Charith Asalanka, Dhananjaya de Silva, Dasun Shanaka(C), Chamika Karunaratne, Wanindu Hasaranga, Maheesh Theekshana, Pramod Madushan, Dilshan Madushanka
Date 2023-04-02 01:00:00
Venue - Eden Park, Auckland, Auckland
Toss - New Zealand elected to bowl
Umpires - Chris Brown (New Zealand), Shaun Haig (New Zealand), Wayne Knights (New Zealand TV)
Match Referee Jeff Crowe (New Zealand)