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Nathan McCullum was New Zealand’s hero as he capped a stunning run-chase by hitting Rangana Herath for 6, 4, 6 and 6 in the final over of the second ODI against Sri Lanka in Hambantota.
It is the only instance of a batsman hitting consecutive sixes off the final deliveries to win a one-day international.
The game was curtailed to 23 overs a side after nearly six hours were lost to a rain-break. Sri Lanka’s score was revised to 198 under the Duckworth Lewis Method after they had made 138-1 in their quota of overs.
New Zealand went into the final over needing 21 to win. Herath conceded 2 and 1 to James Neesham. McCullum took strike, hitting his first ball of the over for extra cover for six. He kept the game alive by spanking a four through the same region. Needing 7 runs off 2 balls, McCullum heaved another six over long-off to tie the scores. Herath bowled a full-toss on the last delivery and McCullum swung it over long-on to finish the game.
The target was steep and New Zealand were brought close to it by Tom Latham (86) and Luke Ronchi (49), who added 93 scintillating runs in just under 10 overs to revive them from a poor start of 68-4.
Nuwan Kulasekara dismissed both batsmen in the 21st over of the chase, giving him four wickets from the game.
After a wash-out in the first game, this win gives New Zealand an unbeatable series lead with a game left on Saturday.
Sri Lanka elected to bat today, reaching 117-1 in the 21st over when the rain break took place.
Tillakaratne Dilshan and Kumar Sangakkara had struck fifties, sharing a century partnership for the second wicket after Dimuth Karunaratne failed again.
With 14 balls to play after the break, Dilshan and Sangakkara batted smartly by not losing any wickets, thus boosting their adjusted score by the Duckworth-Lewis method.