Sri Lanka snuck past the BLACKCAPS in a thrilling Super Over match in the first Super Eight fixture of the ICC World Twenty20 at Pallekele today.
At the conclusion of regular time the scores were level at 174 apiece with Sri Lanka making 13 and the BLACKCAPS managing seven in replay.
After winning the toss and batting first, Martin Guptill cracked 38 off 30 deliveries to get the BLACKCAPS off to a flyer and along with Rob Nicol put on 57 for the first wicket.
In-form batsman Brendon McCullum and Nicol then built on the strong opening partnership, taking the score through to 99 after 12.2 overs.
McCullum’s contribution was a quick 25 off 16 deliveries while Nicol a compiled the team’s best total 58 off 40. Nicol was particularly brutal on Ajantha Mendis, hitting the spinner for three sixes in the 15th over that ended up going for a total of 24 runs.
A 23 run cameo from Ross Taylor along with a number of single figure scores from the rest of the order ensured a decent total was posted.
Akila Dananjaya picked up two for 32 while Nuwan Kulasekara picked up two for 33.
Sri Lanka got off to a rapid start with Tillakaratne Dilshan and Mahela Jayawardene blasting 80 off 7.2 overs before Jacob Oram got a breakthrough.
Jayawardene, who struck 44 off 26, was caught in the deep while a sharp piece of work by Brendon McCullum helped run-out Kumar Sangakkara for 21.
Sri Lanka kept chipping away and it took another piece of brilliance in the field to get the next wicket. This time it was Ross Taylor grasping a firmly hit delivery low to his right, removing Jeevan Mendis for eight and leaving Sri Lanka needing 40 off 32 balls.
The Kiwi bowlers continued to fight back, taking four for 43 in the last five overs when earlier their opposition were on 131 for two in the 15th over.
Sri Lanka required eight off six with Southee stepping up to deliver an a brilliant final over to level the scores. It came down to the last ball and the home side needed one run with Lahiru Thirimanne dismissed by a bizarre run-out leaving the at 174 all.
Taylor was unable to collect the return from the outfield and appeared to have dropped the ball but replays showed that he had deflected it onto the stumps and Thirimanne was just short of his crease forcing the super over.
The BLACKCAPS face England at the same location on Saturday.