Nelson - A cracking 91 by Tillakaratne Dilshan after a fiery net session set
Sri Lanka up for an eight-wicket victory over New Zealand in Nelson on
Thursday to keep their one-day series alive.
Sri Lanka knocked off
their 277-run target with 22 balls to spare in a remarkable turnaround
after being outplayed in the first two matches.
In addition to Dilshan's heroics, Lahiru Thirimanne cracked an unbeaten 87 and Danushka Gunathilaka made 65.
Chandimal was not out 27 at the end as the match followed the same
formula as the first two where the team that lost the toss batted second
Gunathilaka said it was a must-win game and
non-playing speedster Suranga Lakmal sharpened the players up when he
hit several in the nets the previous day.
"That's true, we talked about that and how now we are okay," he said.
"Angelo (Mathews) and (Milinda) Siriwardana were hit on the head and Dilshan hit in the face.
talked about how we have to be positive and we can't have negative
thoughts because certainly this New Zealand side is a very strong side
and they are a very good bowling attack."
New Zealand now lead the series 2-1 with two matches remaining.
first in the opening matches on faster wickets in Christchurch,
Dilshan, Thirimanne and Gunathilaka posted a total of 43 runs from their
combined six innings.
But they were more at home on the
accommodating Saxton Oval where Dilshan took 92 balls for his 91 and
stood in partnerships of 98 with Gunathilaka and 111 with Thirimanne.
New Zealand strike bowlers Tim Southee and Adam Milne were belted out of the attack in five overs.
Bracewell was brought on in the sixth over to arrest the onslaught only
to have Gunathilaka smack his first ball for six to bring up Sri
It was the introduction of New Zealand's fourth
quick, Mitchell McClenaghan, that snapped the opening stand when
Gunathilaka was caught by Ross Taylor at first slip for 65.
Dilshan was run out when turned back by Thirimanne when attempting a difficult single.
contrast to Sri Lanka's rollicking performance, the New Zealand innings
showed signs of rust after so few batsmen had a chance to get in the
middle in the first two games.
Kane Williamson's 59 was the only score to better a half-century.
deputising as captain in place of the injured Brendon McCullum, was
dropped on 30 and added a further 29 runs before meekly yielding his
wicket when he slapped a full toss from Siriwardana to Dushmantha
Chameera at mid-on.
Chameera had an impressive game, as did the other Sri Lankan novice Jeffrey Vandersay.
addition to the valuable catch to remove Williamson, the 23-year-old
Chameera claimed the wickets of Martin Guptill (30) and Henry Nicholls
(20) and ran out Mitchell Santner (38).
When New Zealand looked to
be lining themselves up for a big score on a wicket that suggested an
innings of 300-plus, Vandersay removed Tom Latham for 42 and Ross Taylor
without scoring in three deliveries.
They were the first ODI wickets for the 25-year-old leg-spinner playing in his second international.
Bracewell's career best 30 off 34 and Southee's 18 off four balls in the final over gave the New Zealand innings a late boost.
The fourth ODI is in Nelson on Saturday.