Champions Trophy: New Zealand survive Lasith Malinga burst to beat Sri Lanka in Group A
By Graeme Mair. Last Updated: 10/06/13 7:38pm
New Zealand's last pair saw them to a target of 139 for a one-wicket win over Sri Lanka in their Group A opener at the Champions Trophy.
Tim Southee's 13 not out steered New Zealand over the line in tense circumstances after Sri Lanka seamer Lasith Malinga had threatened to snatch a low-scoring game away from them.
Malinga finished with 4-34, all lbw or bowled, but Southee saw out the final over of his allocation and then sealed the victory in the 37th over in the company of Mitchell McClenaghan (1no).
McClenaghan had earlier claimed 4-43 as Sri Lanka were all out for 138 in 37.5 overs after opting to bat first in Cardiff.
Kusal Perera edged the first ball of the match from Kyle Mills (2-14) to Brendon McCullum at second slip, the New Zealand skipper threw himself to his left to hold a two-handed catch.
Only Kumar Sangakkara, with 68, resisted for long before he was eighth out, the first of two wickets in the same Nathan McCullum (2-23) over.
New Zealand also struggled for runs on a dry pitch, slumping to 80-6 after 20 overs.
The McCullum brothers, Brendon and Nathan, revived the run chase with a 35-run stand for the seventh wicket.
But Malinga removed both in consecutive overs, bowling Brendon (18) with a yorker and then trapping Nathan lbw for 33.
Southee appeared fortunate to survive an leg-before appeal from Malinga with 12 runs needed. Sri Lanka had already burned their review earlier in the innings and, to add to their frustration, the ball raced away to third-man for four.
Still New Zealand were not home and dry. Mills was run out by Thisara Perera's throw in the 35th over with five runs required.
The Sri Lankan fielder pounced from mid-on and, although he had been aiming at the non-striker's stumps, he hit direct at other end and caught a dawdling Mills unaware.
Malinga still had six deliveries to bowl at this stage and Southee took responsibility, blocking them out before scrambling the winning runs from Tillakaratne Dilshan's spin in the next over.
New Zealand join England on two points in Group A and next face Australia at Edgbaston on Wednesday. Sri Lanka take on England at The Oval the following day.