Sri Lanka defeat New Zealand in second US Twenty20 clash

FORT LAUDERDALE, May 23, 2010 (AFP) – Sri Lanka beat New Zealand by seven wickets in the second of two Twenty20 matches on Sunday, part of international cricket’s historic attempt to break into the US market. Sri Lanka had lost Saturday’s opening game of the series, which marked the first cricket games on US soil between two ICC full members. Sri Lanka triumphed in the low-scoring affair with more than four overs to spare to earn a 1-1 draw in the series.

Nuwan Kulasekara tore through New Zealand’s top order, taking three wickets in the second over as he removed openers Brendon McCullum and Aaron Redmond along with Rob Nicol.

New Zealand were an embarrassing 13-5 at one stage.

Daniel Vettori and Nathan McCullum were the only New Zealanders to reach double figures, but the 81 runs amassed by New Zealand was no challenge for Sri Lanka even on the slow, lifeless pitch.

Vettori’s 27 gave New Zealand a glimmer of hope, and Nathan McCullum’s 36 took their total to 81 before they were bowled out in the 18th over.

Mahela Jayawardene got Sri Lanka going with a 12-ball 17. Thissara Parera added 24 and Tillakaratne Dilshan overcame his struggles to find his timing for an unbeaten 33.