Sri Lanka scores nervous 3-wicket win over Kiwis

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Sri Lanka huffed and puffed to a three-wicket win over New Zealand in the second ODI of the cricket tri-series.

Updated: August 13, 2010 16:30 IST
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Sri Lanka huffed and puffed to a three-wicket win over New Zealand in the second ODI of the cricket tri-series and helped India reclaim the second spot in the ICC ODI team rankings, here on Friday.

India had surrendered the second position to Kiwis after the humiliating 200-run loss in the series-opener.

Opener Upul Tharanga (70 off 109) was top scorer in Sri Lanka's haphazard chase as Sri Lanka scored 195 for seven in 40.5 overs in a target of 193.

New Zealand, electing to bat, were all out for 192 in 48.1 overs after Sri Lanka's pace duo of Lasith Malinga (3/35) and Angelo Mathews (3/36) shared six wickets between them.

The Kiwi total was built around some good effort by debutant BJ Watling (55) and Nathan McCullum (36).

The low-scoring match at Rangiri Dambulla stadium was a dull affair as only 32 boundaries, including just two sixes, were scored in the flood-lit encounter.

New Zealand, who had 117 rating points before this match, lost three points to slip to fourth spot behind South Africa (115).

India gained a position to second with 116 points behind leaders Australia (132).

Like the Kiwis, Sri Lankan made a wretched start, losing opener Tilakkaratne Dilshan (5) in the third over.

Tharanga raised a 85-run stand for the second wicket with skipper Kumar Sangakkara (48) to steady the innings and then along with Thilan Samaraweera (36 off 38) steered the hosts close to win.

But once Tharanga departed in the 37th over, wickets started tumbling and the hosts were reduced from a comfortable 162 for four to 180 for seven in a gap of 14 balls.

However, seasoned Samaraweera kept his cool and brought his side home with 9.1 overs to spare.

Tharanga's patient knock had nine boundaries and Samaraweera helped himself with four boundaries with last one coming for winning runs off Kyle Mills.

Mills was the highest wicket taker for the Kiwis with outstanding figures of 4 for 41.

Earlier, after a high in the opening match, in which they beat India by a massive 200 runs, the Kiwis hit a low with half of their side returning back to the pavilion inside 23.1 overs.

The Black Caps were off to a bad start, losing opener Martin Guptill in the second ball of the first over.

Trying to cut an away going delivery of Malinga, Guptill's leading edge landed in Chamara Kapugedera's safe hands at backward point.

Mathews then struck twice in the 11th over, trapping skipper Ross Taylor (16) in front of wicket off the first ball and then removed Kane Williamson (0) in the third ball, caught at first slip by Thilan Samaraweera.

Rangana Herath then dismissed removed Scott Styris (24) caught at first slip by Mahela Jayawardene, while in the next over Watling was also sent packing by Mathews as New Zealand slipped to 101 for five in 23.1 over.

Malinga then dealt two more blows, getting rid of Gareth Hopkins (11) and Daryl Tuffey (0) in consecutive deliveries.

Mills (11) was the next to go when Herath's flighted delivery got the leading edge of his blade and long-off fielder Mathews took a running catch as the visitors plummeted to 143 for eight in 37 overs.

Second highest scorer, Nathan McCullum (36) gave some respectability to the New Zealand innings before perishing in the 45th over.

Tim Southee (13) and AJ McKay (4) tried to push the score close to the 200-mark but the effort went in vain.

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