Thisara Perera 74-ball 140 in vain as New Zealand beat Sri Lanka in 2nd ODI to win series

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first_imgNew Zealand vs Sri Lanka 2nd ODI Scores(Full scorecard)Brief scores:New Zealand 319 for 7 in 50 overs (Taylor 90, Munro 87, Neesham 64, Malinga 2 for 45, Pradeep 1 for 59)Sri Lanka 298 all out in 46.2 overs (Perera 140, Gunathilaka 71, Sodhi 3 for 55, Neesham 2 for 48, Henry 2/52)New Zealand beat Sri Lanka by 21 runsThisara Perera smashed 13 sixes in an astonishing display of power-hitting which took Sri Lanka to the brink of a remarkable win over New Zealand on Saturday in the second one-day international.Perera was the last man out on 140 – with Sri Lanka ending on 298 in 46.2 overs – as a chastened New Zealand held on to win by 21 runs and clinch an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series.All-rounder Perera came to the wicket at No. 7 with his team struggling at 121 for 5 after 25 overs in reply to New Zealand’s 319 for 7. Undaunted by a seemingly impossible position, he blasted his way to a century from 57 balls, beating his previous best ODI score of 80.Perera overall hit 110 runs from boundaries – 13 sixes and eight fours in an innings of 140.Thisara Perera brings up his maiden ODI off 57 balls!SL 251/8 (41.4 Ovs) chasing 320. #NZvSL pic.twitter.com/LCmSnEfYIJSri Lanka Cricket (@OfficialSLC) January 5, 2019New Zealand were still coasting to victory with Sri Lanka at 128 for 7 in the 27th over after Sri Lanka lost five wickets for 16 runs through the middle of their innings. But Perera expertly marshalled the Sri Lanka tail, farming the strike to continue an assault that the New Zealand bowlers appeared unable to counter.He put on 75 in an eighth-wicket stand with captain Lasitha Malinga, then added a further 95 for Sri Lanka’s last two wickets with tailenders Lakshan Sandakan and Nuwan Pradeep. Perera simply encouraged those batsmen to block out the bowlers until he could get back on strike and take up the contest again.advertisement”First off I’m really proud of myself because it’s my first century,” Perera said. “For the last eight years I’m batting No. 8 or No. 9 and if I’m batting No. 7 I can get more time at the crease so I thank the coaching staff for trusting me.”VICTORY! But it didn’t come without a few nervous moments! Thisara Perera blasting an amazing 140 off just 74 balls! NZ win by 21 runs and claim the series! #NZvSL pic.twitter.com/IEBNyIPGeeBLACKCAPS (@BLACKCAPS) January 5, 2019Strong winds at the Bay Oval helped to carry the boundaries when hitting downwind. Perera’s onslaught was also boosted by one of New Zealand’s worst fielding performances in recent years – at least 10 chances went to ground from the usually safe hands of players such as Martin Guptill, Trent Boult, Kane Williamson and Henry Nicholls.Perera said he always believed a win was possible.”I told the last few batsmen it’s very hard to hit on this ground because of the wind, so I had to take the responsibility throughout the innings,” he said. “I already spoke to Nuwan and Sandakan and said ‘Please play even six balls per over so I can take the strike from the other end.'”New Zealand’s total fell well short of the 371 for 7 it achieved on the same pitch at Bay Oval in the first ODI two days earlier when it beat Sri Lanka by 45 runs.Guptill, who made 138 in that match, and Williamson, who made 76, were both out cheaply. Colin Munro made 87 and Ross Taylor scored 90.Jimmy Neesham, who hit 47 from 13 balls in the first match, struck 64 off 37 on Saturday. But the New Zealand innings was hit by four run outs which included the wickets of Munro and Taylor.Sri Lanka made a solid start, helped by 71 from Danushka Gunathilaka. But a middle-order collapse left them facing a comprehensive defeat until Perara scared the hosts.”Thisara came out and played out of his skin,” Williamson said. “Suddenly guys are under pressure to execute their skills with the wind factor here as well and a few fumbles.”It was all leaning in one direction for a little while there but it was good the guys could hold their nerve and come away with the win.”Also Watch:last_img

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