NZ keep nerve to edge opening T20

Martin Guptill (Gallo Images)
Martin Guptill (Gallo Images)

Mount Maunganui - New Zealand clinched a nail-biting three-run victory over Sri Lanka in their opening Twenty20 match at Mount Maunganui on Thursday.

Matt Henry and Trent Boult finished with three wickets apiece as they ripped through the visitors' top-and-middle-order before some consolidation between Danushka Gunathilaka (46) and Milinda Siriwardana (42), who added 42 runs for the fifth wicket.

Earlier, form batsman Martin Guptill cracked 58 off 34 balls as New Zealand posted 182-4 batting first.

Kane Williamson also posted a half-century with 53 off 42 deliveries at Mount Maunganui's Bay Oval.

The pair gave New Zealand a flying start, taking only 28 balls to reach 50 before Nuwan Kulasekara and Jeffrey Vandersay put the brakes on the scoring spree.

The second 50 took 34 deliveries and the score had just ticked over the 100 mark when Guptill was dismissed.

Williamson called for a quick single only for Chamara Kapugedera to throw down the stumps from side on with Guptill well short of the crease.

Guptill's 58 included four sixes and four fours while Williamson, who was dismissed soon after, reached the boundary with one six and five fours.

Williamson was caught at midwicket off medium pacer Kulasekara, who was the most effective of the Sri Lankan bowlers taking two for 26.

Kulasekara also removed Colin Munro, caught and bowled for 36, while for New Zealand Ross Taylor was not out 22 at the end of the innings.

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