New Zealand demolished Sri Lanka with a nine-wicket victory in the second T20 International (T20I) to level the series Wednesday (April 5), as opener Tim Seifert finished on 79 not out. Blackcaps bowler Adam Milne had earlier taken five wickets for just 26 runs in a man-of-the-match performance as Sri Lanka were skittled for just 141 runs.
"You always dream of taking five wickets for New Zealand. As I had three in the last over with a couple of tailenders in, I started feeling a little bit greedy," Milne later admitted.
Seifert then helped steer New Zealand to victory as the hosts hit a rapid-fire 146 for 1 in reply after 14.4 overs. New Zealand captain Tom Latham hailed his side's "pretty clinical performance".
"The way we were just able to keep taking wickets, that's the best way really to stall a run rate," he added.
"I thought our bowling performance was outstanding."
New Zealand's victory in Dunedin levelled the series 1-1 ahead of the decider this Saturday in Queenstown. Sri Lanka had won the opening T20 match last Sunday in Auckland. Milne's impressive bowling display left New Zealand with a target of 142 to win.
Opener Chad Bowes was caught after hitting 31 off 15 balls before Seifert peppered the boundary in a partnership of 106 alongside Latham, who finished 20 not out. Seifert then wrapped up New Zealand's innings in style with two towering sixes. It was a brutal defeat for Sri Lanka, who had made a good start.
Kusal Perera (35) and Dhananjaya de Silva (37) put on a middle-order partnership of 62 off 46 balls to steer the visitors to 99-4 after 12 overs. The tourists then collapsed by losing their next six wickets for just 42 runs as New Zealand's seamers found their length to devastating effect.
Charith Asalanka was the last Sri Lankan batter to offer any resistance, chalking up 24 runs off 19 balls. Milne did the most damage for New Zealand, picking off Sri Lanka's tailenders Dilshan Madushanka and Pramod Madushan without a run being scored.
"We got a good start but lost the momentum in the middle," said Sri Lanka captain Dasun Shanaka, who credited Milne's superb bowling.
"Losing wickets at regular intervals cost us the game."
Sri Lanka have lost both the Test and One-Day International (ODI) series 2-0 during their month-long tour of New Zealand.
Sri Lanka 141 in 19 overs (Dhananjaya de Silva 37, Kusal Perera 35; Adam Milne 5 for 26) lost to New Zealand 146 for 1 in 14.4 overs (Tim Seifert 79*, Chad Bowes 31; Kasun Rajitha 1 for 25) by nine wickets
Player of the match: Adam Milne