Ross Taylor 48-runs help New Zealand Win First T20 Against Sri Lanka
Ross Taylor smashed 48-runs to set up New Zealand five-wicket win over Sri Lanka in the first T20 international against Sri Lanka at Kandy on Sunday. Taylor lifted the Black Caps from a 39th-for-three precarious pursuit to complete victory in 19.3 overs and lead the three-match series 1-0.
Sri Lankan captain Lasith Malinga became the tallest player in the shortest format after taking two wickets took his account to 99 wickets in 74 matches, beating Shahid Afridi of Pakistan.
But his effort was not enough as Taylor put in 79 runs for the fourth port with Colin de Grandhomme, who scored 44, to bring the attack to opposition bowlers.
Taylor, who survived because of catch-dropped on 31-runs by Dasun Shanaka at the mid-off, made the most of the postponement to hit three fours and two sixes in his 29-ball bombardment.
He was eventually caught up in the leg spinner debutant Wanindu Hasaranga, who returned 2-21 figures of his four overs.
Daryl Mitchell, who made 25 of 19 deliveries, and Mitchell Santner, scoring 14, then placed in an unbeaten position of 31 races to take the Black Caps home.
Malinga, who retired from the Cricket Test in 2011 and played his international one-day farewell in July 2019, defeated Colin Munro on the first over of the chase in New Zealand to equal Afridi’s record of 98 wickets.
The 36-year-old then cleaned De Grandhomme, for 44, to achieve the feat in the 74th T20 match of his illustrious career.
Previously, Kusal Mendis broke 79-runs toff 53 balls to help Sri Lanka post 174 to four.
Mendis built crucial partnerships that include a 63-stroke stand for the third wicket with Niroshan Dickwella, who made 33.
Opening Batsmen Kusal Perera made 11 before falling to Kiwi captain Tim Southee and number three batsmen Avishka Fernando was out for ten while Sri Lanka slumped to 68 by two.
Mendis stood firm to complete his fifth T20 fifty and also surpassed his previous best mark of 70 after surviving a drop in 55.
Mendis eventually focused on half a deep wicket of Southee, who returned figures 2-20 of his four overpasses.
The second T20 is scheduled for Tuesday at Pallekele International Stadium in Kandy.