Martin Guptill scored a match-winning 58 off 34 © Getty Images (File Photo)
Martin Guptill scored a match-winning 58 off 34 © Getty Images (File Photo)

Martin Guptill, Trent Boult‘s stupendous performance help the hosts New Zealand clinch victory in the first Twenty20 International (T20I) against the visiting Sri Lanka team and take a 1-0 lead in the 2-match series between the two nations. Starting off well, New Zealand got into trouble later on in their innings as the Lankans made a good comeback but it was the Kiwis who tasted victory finally, with massive contributions coming from Martin Guptill, Kane Williamson with bat and Trent Boult with the ball. Sri Lanka won the toss and elected to field. Kane Williamson and Martin Guptill provided a strong start for their team as the duo scored massively in the first few overs. The hosts fully dominated over the Lankan bowlers as they put up a partnership of 101 runs without losing a wicket. Full Scorecard: New Zealand vs Sri Lanka, 1st T20I at Mount Maunganui

Sri Lanka got their first breakthrough at 10.2 overs while Guptill gave away his wicket in a terrible run out after scoring 58 runs off 34 deliveries. Williamson remained at the crease to build up a brief partnership with Colin Munro but he also departed soon after making a 42-ball 53. New Zealand lost a few wickets consecutively here as Corey Anderson failed to impress making only 2 runs. Munro stayed there for a major portion of the innings as he scored his individual score of 36 off 26. Another mentionable contribution came from Ross Taylor, who scored 22 off just 9 deliveries mostly hitting boundaries. At the end of their innings, New Zealand put up a defendable 182 with the loss of 4 wickets. Full Cricket Updates: New Zealand vs Sri Lanka 2015-16, 1st T20I at Mount Maunganui

Chasing the total, Sri Lanka went on losing wickets in regular intervals. Starting with Tillakaratne Dilshan who went back for a duck, most of the Lankan batsmen failed to give their best. It was Danushka Gunathilaka who kept on scoring from one end till he found the preferred support from the other end from Milinda Siriwardana. Both the batsmen built up the first big partnership for Sri Lanka as it added 42 runs. After Gunathilaka got out on a Ish Sodhi delivery, Siriwardana built up a 49-run partnership with Thisara Perera. Both of them kept the hopes of their supporters alive. Siriwardana scored 42 off 31 while Perera departed for 28 off 19. Eventually, Sri Lanka went on to lose the match by 3 runs as they failed to pick up the victory coming close to it.

The Sri Lanka bowlers displayed some good bowling, best of the lost being Nuwan Kulasekara who took two wickets and Jeffrey Vandersay who bagged one. For New Zealand, it was Trent Boult who turned to be the game-changer as he picked up 3 wickets giving away 21 runs and with an economy of 5.25. Matt Henry also picked up three wickets while Grant Elliott and Ish Sodhi got one each.

A prominent drawback for the visitors has been their poor performance on field. The Lankans dropped a few easy catches which could have entirely changed the result. Despite this, what is a notable fact is that the tourists gave a great fight and got themselves back in the game making it an interesting contest to watch.

Brief Scores:

New Zealand 182 for 4 in 20 overs(Martin Guptill 58, Kane Williamson 53; Nuwan Kulasekara 2 for 26) beat Sri Lanka 179 for 9 in 20 overs (Danushka Gunathilaka 46, Milinda Siriwardana 42; Trent Boult 3 for 21) by 3 runs

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(Paulami Chakraborty, a singer, dancer, artist, and photographer, loves the madness of cricket and writes about the game. She can be followed on Twitter at @Polotwitts)