At the mid innings break, it looked like the kiwis had the game covered, and then they even started the chase well, since 120 was never a big deal for the kind of batting line up they had. But within a matter of 6 overs and 15 runs, the game had changed on its head, with New Zealand down and out of the game.
When Malinga introduced Herath in the attack, the kiwis were moving along nicely at 18/0. But Herath proved to be the difference between the two sides, as he bowled a wonderful spell of 3.3-2-3-5, and literally bowled the kiwis out of the game. The condition of the kiwis against spin was so bad that no one except Kane Williamson could reach double figures and he scored 70% of the runs scored in the New Zealand innings.
New Zealand were also affected by the fact that hard hitting all rounder Corey Anderson was injured and was unable to bat, giving the kiwis only nine wickets to work with, not that it seemed to make any difference. Once Herath picked up the top order batsmen, the Lankan bowling wrapped up the proceedings, with Herath claiming the final wicket himself, ending up with figures of 5/3. The best 5 wicket haul performance in the history of T20 cricket. New Zealand was ultimately bowled out for 60, as the Lankans won the game by 59 runs to enter the semi finals.
Earlier, the kiwi bowlers also did their job rather well, when they restricted the Lankan batsmen to a subpar total of 119. Trent Boult lad the attack and the bowlers made sure that the batsmen don’t have to chase a daunting total, under the lights. But even 119 proved to be little too much.
Result: Sri Lanka beat New Zealand by 59 runs.
Man of the match: Rangana Herath.