All-round New Zealand Keep Lanka Winless with Big Win in Lone T20

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Coming into bowl the fifth over, the pacer struck with his very first delivery removing Dickwella for 18 as Sri Lanka slipped to 45/3 after a good start. Chasing 180 for a win on Friday (January 11), they were bowled out for 144 in 16.5 overs, despite a blazing start, faltering once again in the middle, as has been the trend of their tour.

New Zealand sealed the one-day global series in style by winning the third match in Nelson for the clean sweep and they will now move to the shortest format of the game as they look to win the sole T20 match to finish the tour with Sri Lanka.

After receiving a thrashing in the Test series and ODI series, Sri Lanka would look to win the only T20I to end their tour on a positive note. The best thing about New Zealand has been that most of their players have chipped in and it has been a true team effort. Next over, Lasith Malinga swiped at a Santner delivery, and sent a top edge into the legside that was happily gobbled up by Martin Guptill. Tim Siefert, who was promoted up the order missed out on the chance of proving his prowess, done in by some extra bounce from Kasun Rajitha. He hacked Southee for a four first ball before carting a four and a six in the second over to set Sri Lanka's innings rolling. Just when it seemed the duo could take New Zealand forward Lakshan Sandakan struck, deceiving Santner (13) with a well-flighted delivery that the batsman toe-ended to long off.

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The tourists remained well ahead of New Zealand's run curve, reaching 52-3 after five overs and 95-4 after 10.

Bracewell made 44 from 26 balls and Kuggeleijn, on debut, hit an unbeaten 35 from 15 as New Zealand rallied from 55-5 after 10 overs to make 179-7 batting first. He hit two successive straight sixes, another one over fine leg, and finished with a four through square leg, as New Zealand reaped 23 from those six balls.

Sri Lanka's bowling attack was poor at the death, serving up predictable, hittable lengths to the tail - Malinga the only bowler to avoid punishment, conceding only six runs from the 19th over. The first 10 overs Sri Lanka ruled the roost reducing the hosts to 55/5 before New Zealand shot back in the last 10 scoring 124 runs to wrest back the initiative. Ferguson then left Dhananjaya de Silva's stumps in a mess with a 147 kph thunderbolt in the same over to leave Sri Lanka tottering.

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Thisara Perera kept the visitors on course with a 24-ball 43, with Kusal Mendia and added 49 for the fourth wicket, but that was the last of the resistance or intent offered from the Sri Lankan batsmen.

But Ross Taylor (33) put on 47 with Bracewell in a sixth-wicket stand, which helped to fix the innings, then Bracewell took charge with a bright innings which included one four and five sixes in his first match for New Zealand in a year.

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