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08-Apr-2023 14:19:00 GMT
NZ v SL - 3rd T20I, Queenstown

Final over drama sees New Zealand win the T20I series 2-1

New Zealand 183 for 6 (Seifert 88, Latham 31, Kumara 3-31) beat Sri Lanka 182 for 6 (Mendis 73, Perera 33, Lister 2-37) by four wickets

Queenstown: New Zealand registered a four-wicket victory over Sri Lanka in the third T20I, taking the series 2-1 in Queenstown.

With the series levelled at 1-1 after the first two matches, the decider in Queenstown was full of intrigue and drama as New Zealand secured a nervy final-over victory.

The third match followed a similar pattern to the opening game with the hosts involved in a high-scoring chase.

The Black Caps won the toss and asked Sri Lanka to bat first. A solid opening stand between Pathum Nissanka and Kusal Mendis put the visitors on track and despite losing wickets at regular intervals, they managed to put up a daunting 182/6 in their 20 overs.

Mendis was the star of the show, smashing 73 (48), studded with six fours and four sixes. The last few wickets hurt the Lankans as they could only manage to score only 14 from the last two overs (just three off the final one) and that perhaps proved decisive at the end.

New Zealand began in much the same fashion as the second T20I and were immediately cruising, the openers going at 10 runs an over.

Tim Seifert was at is usual destructive self and even after Chad Bowes' wicket continued plundering runs with Tom Latham.

It looked pretty straightforward for the hosts until the 15th over when Latham was bowled by Maheesh Theekshana, ending the 84-run second-wicket stand. New Zealand were further dented with Seifert's wicket two overs later but with less than 30 runs needed, they would have fancied their chances of getting through with ease.

However, the Lankans refused to go down without a fight and bowled economically. 10 runs were needed off the final over and Mark Chapman hit a powerful six on the first ball off Lahiru Kumara, bringing down the equation to 4 from 5 balls with 7 wickets in hand but that's when things got interesting.

Kumara then removed Chapman, Jimmy Neesham was run-out on the next ball on a wide delivery and Daryl Mitchell was caught trying to go big as the hosts lost three wickets on successive deliveries.

With 3 runs needed off 4 balls, Adam Milne sneaked in a bye, almost getting run-out in the process. Rachin Ravindra held his nerve eventually as New Zealand won the match with one ball to spare.

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