Kandy: Sri Lanka skipper Lasith Malinga wreaked havoc on New Zealand batsmen with one yorker after another to help his team come out on top in a low-scoring affair.
Malinga’s double hat-trick broke the back of Kiwi batting lineup. He started off with Colin Munro followed by Hamish Rutherford, Colin de Grandhomme and Ross Taylor who registered golden duck. He also became the first bowler to take 100 T20I wickets.
The fast bowler got a fifer and finished with bowling figures – 5 for 6 in four overs as Sri Lanka won the match by 37 runs.
Chasing a modest total of 126, the hopes of New Zealand were reignited by Tim Southee’s power-hitting but the 10th wicket partnership could not pull off a miracle.
However, Southee and Seth Rance managed to register the second-highest 10th wicket stand.
Earlier, Malinga won the toss and elected to bat first.
Opener Danushka Gunathilaka top-scored with a 25-ball 30.
Sri Lanka kept losing wickets and only four batsmen scored in double digits. Kiwi spinner Mitchell Santner and Todd Astle picked three wickets each in the innings.
Malinga, 36, picked up the wickets of Colin Munro, Hamish Rutherford, Colin de Grandhomme and Ross Taylor in the third over to become the only bowler to have taken two hat-tricks in T20I cricket.
The first time Malinga achieved this feat was against South Africa in the 2007 World Cup in a Super eight match in West Indies.
Afghanistan skipper Rashid Khan was the first to grab four wickets in four deliveries in a T20I. He did it against Ireland earlier this year.
This was also Malinga's fifth hat-trick in international cricket which is the most by any bowler. Wasim Akram had four hat-tricks to his name across formats.