Kulasekara, Malinga fire Sri Lanka to seven-wicket win

24 May 2010 02:00 am - 1     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Nuwan Kulasekera and Lasith Malinga shared seven wickets as Sri Lanka thumped New Zealand by seven wickets in a Twenty20 cricket international Sunday, leveling the two-match series at 1-1 in Florida on Sunday.

Kulasekera took three wickets for four runs from three overs and Malinga four wickets for 12 runs as Sri Lanka dismissed New Zealand for 81 runs in 17.3 overs.

Nathan McCullum top-scored with an unbeaten 36 while captain Daniel Vettori added 27 for New Zealand.

Tillakaratne Dilshan made an unbeaten 33 and Thissara Perera 24 as Sri Lanka reached its winning target after having three wickets down in the 16th over.

New Zealand beat Sri Lanka by 29 runs on Saturday - the first major cricket international played in the United States.

The tied two-match series was the first time that two test-playing nations had met in an official game in the United States.

Hopes of introducing the American public to a format of cricket that usually brings big hitting and non-stop action were dashed, however, by a slow and low surface that made scoring difficult.

Nevertheless, the Sri Lankan supporters who had travelled from across North America to the only purpose-built cricket stadium in the States for the game enjoyed a rare chance to see their favourites perform.

Nuwan Kulasekara ripped through the New Zealand top order as he took three wickets in the second over, removing openers Brendon McCullum and Aaron Redmond and Rob Nicol with some excellent swing bowling.

"This wicket really was ideally suited to Kulasekera, there was a little bit of something in it early on and he took full advantage of it with some magical bowling," said Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara.

As in Saturday's game, New Zealand skipper Daniel Vettori got to grips with conditions, making a stabilising 27.

Nathan McCullum's unbeaten 36 took New Zealand to 81 before they were bowled out in the 18th over.

Vettori, who was full of praise for the weekend's event, said the wicket was "not too far away" from what he would expect for an international but refused to blame it for his team's performance.

"I think it was just very good bowling. Sri Lanka adapted to the conditions and bowled very straight and took wickets with some very good balls. Thirteen for five was always going to be difficult to come back from," he said.

Sri Lanka, who had lost Saturday's opening game of the series, were never in trouble, with Tillakaratne Dilshan's unbeaten 33 guiding his team to a comfortable victory.

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  • Monday, 24 May 2010 03:36 AM

    Great! Sri Lanka needs some good news after these horrendous episodes with the weather.


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