1st T20I, Auckland, April 02, 2023, Sri Lanka tour of New Zealand
(20 ov, T:197) 196/8

Match tied (Sri Lanka won the one-over eliminator)

Player Of The Match
67 (41)
Cricinfo's MVP
93.2 ptsImpact List

Asalanka, Theekshana star in Sri Lanka's Super Over win against New Zealand

Theekshana restricted New Zealand to 8 in the Super Over and Asalanka duly chased it down after his 41-ball 67 in the first innings

Charith Asalanka and Kusal Mendis celebrate the win, New Zealand vs Sri Lanka, 1st T20I, Auckland, April 02, 2023

Charith Asalanka and Kusal Mendis celebrate after the Super Over  •  Getty Images

Sri Lanka 196 for 5 (Asalanka 67, Perera 53, Neesham 2-30) tied with New Zealand 196 for 8 (Mitchell 66, Chapman 33, Hasaranga 2-30)
Super Over Sri Lanka 12 beat New Zealand 8
Ish Sodhi's last-ball six tied the game after Dasun Shanaka looked to have almost won it for the visitors defending 12 off the final over, but Maheesh Theekshana held his nerve in the Super Over before Charith Asalanka chased down the nine-run target, to give Sri Lanka their first win of the tour.
It was fitting that Asalanka was the man left at the end after his 41-ball 67 had helped propel Sri Lanka to a challenging 196 for 5 at Eden Park. Kusal Perera, back in the limited-overs side for the first time in over a year, also made a triumphant return batting through the innings for a 45-ball 53. With his thirteenth half-century in T20Is, he equalled Tillakaratne Dilshan's record for the most fifties in the format for Sri Lanka.
While that would normally be an imposing total, Eden Park with its odd dimensions and especially short boundaries straight down the ground, meant Sri Lanka could never relax in their defence of it. And so it proved.
Despite some early wickets in their chase, New Zealand's batters - particularly Daryl Mitchell, who struck five fours and three sixes in his 44-ball 66 - found boundaries with regularity to keep up with the near 10-an-over required rate.
But even if keeping the scoring down was proving difficult, especially later on with a bit of drizzle wetting the ball, Sri Lanka did well to keep picking up wickets at crucial junctures, and in the end did better in the key moments to secure a much-needed win.

Mendis lays the platform

When Pathum Nissanka nicked one through first ball, the hosts might have had allusions towards repeating the collapse from the first ODI, but Kusal Mendis quickly put paid to any such notions. In a nine-ball cameo the diminutive right-hand batter plundered 25 runs, 24 of which came in boundaries. Adam Milne took the brunt of Mendis' wrath in a 22-run third over, inclusive of two sixes, one an impetuous flick over the shoulder. By the time Mendis departed, holing out at short fine leg after attempting another cheeky ramp, Sri Lanka had raced to 47 off just 3.2 overs.

Perera and Asalanka keep up the momentum

Sri Lanka lost three wickets inside the powerplay, but their scoring rate never dipped. Following Mendis' early onslaught, Dhananjaya de Silva stepped in for a 10-ball 15, before Asalanka and Perera took hold of proceedings. Perera had earlier smoked three consecutive boundaries through the off side, ranging from the arc behind point to straight of mid-off, but once Asalanka joined in, he took a back seat. Unsurprisingly, Asalanka favoured the short straight boundaries, walloping five of his six sixes in the arc in front of the pitch. New Zealand would pull things back after Asalanka's departure, allowing just 11 runs from overs 17 to 19, but such was the platform set by the two half-centurions, an 18-run last over, courtesy Wanindu Hasaranga, was enough to put some gloss on the innings at the death.

Mitchell shows his might

Sri Lanka looked to have orchestrated a dream start to the defence of their total, getting rid of Tim Seifert and Chad Bowes inside the first two overs, but then entered Mitchell. Off just the third delivery he faced, Mitchell showed his intent, sending a high-elbow lofted drive sailing over the short straight boundary, before repeating the trick in Dilshan Madushanka's next over as well. At the other end, Tom Latham kept the required rate in control, ensuring at least a boundary each over. Together the pair added 63 off 39 deliveries. After Latham fell, Mitchell carried on, putting on a 40-ball 66-run stand with Mark Chapman. The two also memorably combined for an almost game-changing 24-run 12th over off Madushanka.

Sri Lanka hold their nerve

In a game where runs came easy, it was always going to be small periods that shifted momentum either way, and it was in these periods that Sri Lanka won the game. First there was the counterattack following Nissanka's early dismissal, and then Wanindu's last over flourish. Then with the ball after Mitchell had struck with a counter of his own, captain Shanaka brought himself on to dismiss the danger man. In the final over too, Shanaka took out the equally dangerous Rachin Ravindra, whose 13-ball 26 had brought the hosts within a whisker. And then finally, the excellent Theekshana bowled a Super Over of immense quality to ensure his batters had only a minimal chase on their hands.

Win Probability
NZ 50%
100%50%100%SL InningsNZ Innings

Over 20 • NZ 196/8

Rachin Ravindra c Hasaranga b Shanaka 26 (13b 2x4 2x6 20m) SR: 200
Match tied (Sri Lanka won the one-over eliminator)
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