Auckland, April 2 (IANS) Spinner Ish Sodhi blasted a six off the final delivery of the match to level scores but his effort went in vain as Sri Lanka defeated New Zealand in a Super Over in the first T20I here on Sunday.
Needing 13 from the final over to win the three-match series opener after Sri Lanka posted 196/5 in 20 overs, Sodhi and Henry Shipley scrambled six runs from the first five balls to set up a thrilling finale.
Leg-spinner Sodhi then flicked Sri Lankan skipper Dasun Shanaka high over mid-wicket for a six to tie the match and send it into a one-over decider.
However, New Zealand's hopes ended in the Super Over as spinner Maheesh Theekshana restricted the Black Caps to just nine runs, which Charith Asalanka easily overhauled with a six and a four off Kiwi quick Adam Milne.
Earlier, Asalanka smacked a 41-ball 67, clearing the modest Eden Park boundary six times as the visitors set New Zealand 197 to win.
Kusal Mendis got Sri Lanka off to a good start with 25 off nine balls before Kusal Perera smashed an unbeaten 53 from 45 balls as Milne, Ben Lister and Shipley all conceded more than 10 runs per over.
In their reply, New Zealand were off to a shaky start and lost two wickets for three runs in the first seven balls. The hosts then rode on Daryl Mitchell's 66 and Mark Chapman's 33 before some explosive hitting by Rachin Ravindra, who blasted 26 off 13 balls, took them close to the target.
Dilshan Madushanka conceded 45 runs from his three overs, while Wanindu Hasaranga and Shanaka each claimed two wickets for 30 and 20 runs respectively.
But despite the adrenaline boost of a final-ball six to tie the game, New Zealand lost two wickets in the tie-breaker, which their chances of putting up a strong total.
Sri Lanka 196/5 in 20 overs (Charith Asalanka 67, Kusal Perera 53 not out, Kusal Mendis 25; James Neesham 2-30) beat New Zealand 196/8 in 20 overs (Daryl Mitchell 66, Mark Chapman 33, Rachin Ravindra 26; Dasun Shanaka 2-20, Wanindu Hasaranga 2-30, Pramod Madushan 2-37) the match in a one-over eliminator.
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