Ross Taylor, Daniel Vettori and Jacob Oram have steered the BLACKCAPS to a stunning come from behind win over Sri Lanka in the first Twenty20 International at Premadasa Stadium in Colombo.
After posting a modest total of 141, the BLACKCAPS looked out of contention early in the Sri Lankan innings – as Tillakaratne Dilshan plundered the New Zealand bowlers.
But a tenacious BLACKCAPS bowling and fielding display saw a minor collapse from Sri Lanka, who were finished off in dramatic final over from Oram – the home side falling three runs short of the target.
The BLACKCAPS won the toss and electing to bat with the openers dismissed early leaving Ross Taylor and Martin Guptill to get the innings moving as they shared a 53 for the third wicket.
Guptill managed 29 but it was Taylor who dominated the bowling, hitting 60 off 45 to get the visitors up to a defendable total.
Taylor’s hit five fours and one six with his first 50 runs coming off 37 balls.
The rest of the batting line up failed to make an impact with a series of poor shots and average running seeing five wickets fall in the last four overs.
Lasith Malinga was the best of the Sri Lankan attack taking two for 21 off his four overs.
Sri Lanka opener Dilshan got his team off to a flyer, blasting 57 off 28, hitting eight fours and two massive sixes.
They home team looked to be cruising at 64 for two after six overs but the introduction of Vettori changed the game dramatically as he slowed the run rate, took a couple of wickets and built pressure for the other bowlers.
The BLACKCAPS captain returned the incredible figures of two for 11 off his four, going at 2.75 runs per over in man of the match performance.
Sri Lanka came back with batsman Angelo Mathews working the ball into the gaps and getting the run rate to below a run-a-ball before Jacob Oram turned the game once again in the BLACKAPS favour removing Mathews for 21 – leaving Sri Lanka in trouble at 122 for seven.
With 13 needed off 12 deliveries Shane Bond was handed the ball and he bowled a terrific over, conceding only four, leaving Sri Lanka the task of getting nine off the final over.
Jacob Oram was given the responsibility of getting the BLACKCAPS home and he didn’t disappoint taking two wickets with his first two balls - giving him a hat-trick after a wicket off the final ball of his last over - then bowled tightly to get his team the victory by three runs.
Oram finished with figures of three for 33 with Iain Butler taking two for 29.
VIDEO: Daniel Vettori post match press conference »
VIDEO: Jacob Oram post match interview »