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Lankan Lions levelled the series – 3rd ODI vs. New Zealand

Zia Rana November 16, 2013

Sri Lanka 8-211 in 33 overs (Tillakaratne Dilshan 53, Mahela Jayawardene 46, Nathan McCullum 2-13) beat New Zealand 6-126 in 25 overs (James Neesham 42*, Nathan McCullum 35*, Rangana Herath 3-25, Sachithra Senanayake 2-14) by 36 runs D/L method.

The hosts, Sri Lanka, bounced back in the series by winning the third and final ODI against the visiting New Zealand who were unable to meet the target.

The match was disturbed by rain and initially restricted to 43 overs a side but further reduced to 33 during the innings of the hosts who powered 211 for the loss of eight wickets. The Kiwis were handed over a task of scoring 163 runs in 25 overs and they managed 126 with four wickets remaining.

Sachithra Senanayake (Sri Lanka) was announced ‘Player of the match’ for his all round performance.

Tillakaratne Dilshan (Sri Lanka) was declared ‘Player of the match’ for his outstanding batting in the series.

The third and final One Day International was played on Saturday, November 16, 2013, at Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium.

Sachithra Senanayake  - Player of the match

Sachithra Senanayake – Player of the match

Earlier, Kyle Mills won the toss for the Black Caps and invited the Islanders to bat first. Mahela Jayawardene and Tillakaratne Dilshan took off brilliantly and contributed 91 runs comprising 15 fours for the opening wicket. The first was gone for 46 and Dilshan attained his 33rd ODI fifty in the 16th over but lost his wicket for 53. Lahiru Thirimanne and Sachithra Senanayake were the other notable batsmen with 23 and 21 as the hosts smashed 211 with two wickets left after 33 overs.

Mitchell McClenaghan, Nathan McCullum and James Neesham were the most successful bowlers with two wickets each whereas Kyle Mills and Andrew Ellis got one wicket each.

New Zealand had a horrible beginning by losing their five top order batsmen for 26 mere runs in 10.1 overs. Tom Latham, Anton Devcich, Rob Nicol, Grant Elliott and Colin Munro surrendered their wickets for 9, 5, 1, 3 and 1 runs. James Neesham along with Luke Ronchi crept to 63 when the latter became the sixth victim for 23. Nathan McCullum got together with Neesham next as the visitors were facing a difficult task ahead. They remained unbeaten for 42 and 35 runs respectively whereas the Kiwis scored 126 for the loss of six wickets in 25 overs.

Rangana Herath was the chief wicket taker with three, Senanayake held two and Nuwan Kulasekara added one wicket to his credit.

Sri Lanka won the important encounter by a margin of 36 runs (Duckworth /Lewis method) and squared the series at 1-1.

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