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Last ball four gives Kiwis victory
December 31, 2006 13:30 IST
Tailender Michael Mason hit the last ball of the match for four to give New Zealand a thrilling one-wicket win over Sri Lanka in their second limited-overs international at Queenstown on Sunday.
Mason drove Sri Lankan spinner Sanath Jayasuriya over his head for a boundary to help New Zealand finish with 228 for nine in reply to Sri Lanka's 224-7 as the home side squared the five-match series.
New Zealand needed just one run off the final over but with James Franklin unbeaten on 45 at the non-striker's end, Mason was left with the responsibility.
The number 11 batsmen failed to score off the first five balls from Jayasuriya, including a gifted waist-high full toss outside off-stump, before dancing down the pitch and chancing his arm off the last delivery.
New Zealand always looked to have the match in control until a late stutter with the bat.
They restricted the visitors to 224-7 despite a fine 89 off 122 balls from Kumar Sangakkara, 31 from Chamara Silva and 29 from Farveez Maharoof.
James Marshall (50) and Brendon McCullum (32) provided New Zealand with the perfect platform to chase victory with an opening stand of 57 before Muttiah Muralitharan struck three times.
The Sri Lankan off spinner trapped Peter Fulton lbw for two, had Craig McMillan caught for the same score then trapped Andre Adams lbw for six to leave New Zealand in deep trouble.
Franklin, 26, came in with the score on 141-6 and began cautiously until he was forced to take on the senior role once the last recognised batsman had gone.
Franklin, who has a test century to his credit but had never made more than 29 in his 45 previous one-day-internationals, batted with the perfect mixture of poise and aggression to get his team across the line.
Sri Lanka beat New Zealand by seven wickets in the series opener in Napier on Thursday. The third match is in Christchurch on Tuesday.
Fall of wickets: 1-4, 2-14, 3-50, 4-102, 5-176, 6-177, 7-192
Bowling: Gillespie 10-0-46-2, Mason,10-1-50-2, Franklin 10-0-46-1, Adams 10-0-42-0, Vettori 10-0-37-1
Fall of wickets: 1-57, 2-87, 3-91, 4-121, 5-126, 6-141, 7-175, 8-194, 9-223.
Bowling: Chaminda Vaas 10-0-46-1, Lasith Malinga 10-0-53-1, Farveez Maharoof 8-0-40-1, Muttiah Muralitharan 10-1-31-3, Sanath Jayasuriya 5-0-28-0, Tillakaratne Dilshan 7-0-25-1.