New Zealand prevail in rain-curtailed thriller
Tom Latham also came up with a important contribution with the bat. Nathan McCullum turned out to be New Zealand's hero with the bat as he scored an unbeaten 32 off 9 to help New Zealand to a thrilling last-ball win against Sri Lanka. McCullum, who smashed three sixes and a four off Rangana Herath in the final over, helped the visitors take a 1-0 lead in the three match series with the 4 wicket win (D/L method) in Hambantota.
Sri Lanka, who opted to bat, posted a total of 138/1 thanks unbeaten contributions from Sangakkara (71) and Dilshan (55). New Zealand, chasing a revised target of 198 in 23 overs, got past the line off the last ball with McCullum coming up with a terrific show with the bat.
Tom Latham (86) and Luke Ronchi (49) also did a good job with the bat while Nuwan Kulasekara's 4/34 went in vain. Facing a steep task, New Zealand would have hoped for a strong start, but Kulasekara had other ideas as he got rid of Anton Devcich (1) and Rob Nicol (0) - both nicking to keeper Sangakkara - off consecutive deliveries in the second over.
The absence of Brendon McCullum, Ross Taylor and Kane Williamson hurt the visitors as the inexperienced Black-Caps batsmen were unable to make the most of the mandatory powerplay, which was cut down to 5 overs. Opener Tom Latham did manage a few boundaries but the Lankan bowlers employed tight lines, not giving too many scoring opportunities to make it all the more tougher for the visitors.
The inexperience of the New Zealand batsmen showed as they attempted quite a few cross-batted heaves, but hardly made any contact.... Read the full, comprehensive news article and discuss at CricBuzzSimilar Stories