Black Caps win Sri Lanka thriller


Fri, Sep 04, 2009 - Page 20

Jacob Oram and Daniel Vettori shared five wickets as New Zealand came from behind to shock Sri Lanka by three runs in a Twenty20 international on Wednesday.

The tourists, restricted to 141-8, hit back to keep the World Twenty20 finalists down to 138-9 in a tense finish at the Premadasa Stadium in Colombo.

Oram finished with 3-33 and skipper Vettori took 2-11 as Sri Lanka lost seven wickets for 71 runs after Tillakaratne Dilshan’s brilliant 57 off 28 balls had lifted them to 67-2 in the seventh over.

Oram, bowling the final over with Sri Lanka needing nine runs with three wickets in hand, dismissed Malinda Bandara and Nuwan Kulasekara off the first two balls and conceded just five runs in the over.

Ian Butler, who did not play in the preceding Test series that Sri Lanka swept 2-0, took 2-29 including the important wicket of Dilshan, who was snapped up a point by Jesse Ryder.

The second Twenty20 match will be played at the same venue today before New Zealand join India and Sri Lanka in a limited-overs tri-series starting on Sept. 8.

New Zealand fast bowler Shane Bond, returning to official cricket after two years, was plundered for four consecutive boundaries by Dilshan in his first over.

Bond, who broke links with the unauthorized Indian Cricket League to be eligible for New Zealand again, finished with 0-27 in his four overs.

New Zealand’s innings revolved around Ross Taylor’s 60 off 45 balls after Vettori won the toss and elected to bat on a slow wicket.

Taylor hit five fours and a six in his third Twenty20 half-century, but the Kiwis lost five wickets for 19 runs after they had reached 117-3 in the 17th over.

Oram said yesterday he was unaware he had taken a hat-trick. His three wickets in three balls, but in separate overs, was missed by almost everyone at the stadium on Wednesday night, including Oram’s teammates, the Sri Lankans and television commentators.

“The first I knew of it was when I got to the hotel,” Oram said.

“My parents had watched the match and the old man had e-mailed to say congratulations on the hat-trick. That was the first I had heard of it,” he said.