Second Bay Oval win for Blackcaps despite scare
An unbelievable hitting blitz by Sri Lankan batsman Thisara Perera has given the Blackcaps a huge scare at the end of the second Bay Oval One Day International tonight.
The Kiwis have won the match by 21 runs after setting a sizeable target of 320, and taken the three-match series 2-0 following their win in Thursday's first encounter, but they'll be breathing a huge sigh of relief having cut short Perera's incredible onslaught which took his team within range of an extraordinary victory.
The number seven batsman came in with his side in peril at 121/5, but despite watching wickets continue to fall at the other end hit an amazing 140 off just 74 balls to take his team to 298 when he became the last man dismissed, caught by a diving Trent Boult.
Boult holds onto the catch to dismiss Kusal Perera
The visitors' cause was aided hugely by a fielding performance by the Blackcaps which fell away alarmingly, as Colin Munro, Tim Southee, Boult, Kane Williamson and Martin Guptill all dropped catches.
Best of the Kiwi bowlers was Ish Sodhi, who took 3-55 off his 10 overs.
Captain Kane makes an athletic runout attempt
Munro with 87 (off 77) and Ross Taylor with 90 (off 105) starred in the Blackcaps early batting effort after skipper Kane Williamson had for the second straight match won the toss and chosen to bat first, then Jimmy Neesham came close to repeating his heroics at the end of the innings with 64 off 37.
Thanks to his effort and a handy 22 off 17 from Tim Seifert the Blackcaps reached 319/7 off their 50 overs.
They will be happy to have set a target in excess of 300 for the second straight match, but their fielding effort will have given them plenty to work on looking ahead to the final clash in the series in Nelson on Tuesday.
Sri Lankan opener Niroshan Dickwella looks bemused at having been bowled by Tim Southee