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Dilshan, Perera Win Series For Sri Lanka

Tillakaratne Dilshan
Tillakaratne Dilshan hit an unbeaten 59 as Sri Lanka beat New Zealand in Pallekele
©REUTERS / Action Images

Sri Lanka 143-2 (Dilshan 59no, K Perera 57) beat
New Zealand 142-7 (Ronchi 34) by 8 wickets
Second Twenty20 International, Pallekele

Tillakaratne Dilshan and Kushal Perera hit half-centuries as Sri Lanka rounded off a soggy series of games against New Zealand with an eight-wicket win in the second and final Twenty20 International.

Pallekele stayed dry for the entirety of the match and in the only game of the tour to remain unaffected by rain, Sri Lanka needed 17.5 overs to overhaul a target of 143.

They succeeded thanks to Tillakaratne Dilshan's unbeaten 59 in 49 balls and Kushal Perera's belligerent 57 in 37 after New Zealand had reached 142 for seven.

Anton Devcich (30 in 23 balls), Luke Ronchi (34 in 25), Nathan McCullum (26 in 16) and Tom Latham (20 in 24) all made useful contributions but they were lacking a match-turning innings, which was perhaps no surprise given the plethora of experience and talent they are currently missing through injury.

Nevertheless, that may be a tad harsh on Sri Lanka, who apart from at the death, bowled well. Lasith Malinga, Nuwan Kulasekara, Angelo Mathews, debutant Ramith Rambukwella, Ajantha Mendis and Thisara Perera all took a wicket apiece.

Sri Lanka lost Mahela Jayawardene early on when he was trapped in front by Mitchell McClenaghan for three but they were scarcely inconvenienced as Dilshan and Perera took the New Zealand bowlers apart.

The former hit eight fours while the latter smashed six fours and two sixes, quickly getting Sri Lanka off to a flyer and ensuring that for much of the rest of the game, the hosts needed less than a run per ball to win.

The pair added 96 in 11.5 overs and when Perera was caught and bowled by Rob Nicol, the ever-reliable Kumar Sangakkara joined Dilshan and was unbeaten on 20 in 17 balls when he hit the winning runs.

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