Pallekele (Sri Lanka): Sri Lanka clinched a thriller beating New Zealand via the Super Over after their Super Eights clash ended in a tie in the World Twent20 cricket tournament at the Pallekele International Stadium here Thursday.
While New Zealand were extremely lucky to stretch the match into the Super Over, Sri Lanka were simply superb in the one-over eliminator after both teams were tied on 174. The win brighetened Sri Lanka's chances of making the semi-final.
Chasing a target of 175, Sri Lanka were on course for a win but faltered in the later stages of the match and needed one run to win off the last ball. But Lahiru Thirimanne was run out in a freakish way on the last ball that resulted in the second tie in Twenty20 international.
Thirimanne played the last delivery off Tim Southee to the off-side and made a quick dash for a single. A good throw from James Franklin deflected off Ross Taylor's hand to hit the stumps with Thirimanne still short of the crease.
Taylor was not sure whether he had collected the ball but after several replays third umpire Steve Davis gave the decision in favour of New Zealand.
In the one-over eliminator, Sri Lanka smashed 13 runs off Southee and in reply the Black Caps got seven after Lasith Malinga bowled an excellent over.
It was a disappointing loss for New Zealand after a good performance by their batsmen. Opting to bat first, New Zealand got off to a good start by Rob Nicol (58) and Martin Guptill (38) to score 174 for seven in 20 overs.
Sri Lanka's debutant spinner Akila Dananjaya, who was the youngest from his country to play in Twenty20 international, made a memorable debut bagging two for 32 while pacer Nuwan Kulasekara also got two for 33.
While chasing, former captain Tillekaratne Dilshan tore apart the New Zealand bowling with his 53-ball 76 that was studded with five fours and three sixes.
The 80-run opening stand between Dilshan and skipper Mahela Jayawardene (44) kept Sri Lanka on course. But the chase faltered only to see both the teams tied at 174 before the Super Over broke the deadlock.
First Published: Thursday, September 27, 2012, 21:45