3rd T20I: Seifert does it again as New Zealand beat Sri Lanka, win series 2-1

Queenstown (New Zealand), April 8 (IANS) Opener Tim Seifert struck a blazing 88 off 48 deliveries to help New Zealand chase a modest target to beat Sri Lanka by four wickets in the third T20I and win the three-match T20I series 2-1, here on Saturday.
Opening the innings with Chad Bowes (17), Tim Seifert struck his second successive half-century after an unbeaten 79 in the second T20I in Dunedin won by the Black Caps. He added 53 runs for the first wicket partnership and then raised another 84 runs for the third wicket with skipper Tom Latham (31) as New Zealand chased the target of 183.
Sri Lanka’s innings of 182/4 in 20 overs was built around a 48-ball 73 by wicketkeeper Kusal Mendis, who got good support from Kusal Perera (33). But in the end, that score was not enough to stop New Zealand as they lost a couple of quick wickets but eventually reached 183/6 in the final over.
With Seifert breezing to his half-century off 26 balls, hitting five boundaries and three maximums, New Zealand was always on course in their chase. Seifert was eventually out at 157/3 in the 17th over but by that time the Black Caps were on course to victory.
Just when it looked like Seifert would go on to get a century, he was slapped one straight to Kasun Rajitha at cover off Pramod Madushan for 88. His 48-ball knock was studded with 10 boundaries and three sixes. Daryl Mitchell (15), Mark Chapman (16) and James Neesham (0) were out quickly but that did not stop New Zealand from reaching the target after a dramatic final over in which three wickets fell at the Sir John Davies Oval. Rachin Ravindra scored a double off the fifth ball of the final over to seal victory for the Black Caps.
Earlier, Kusal Mendis was dropped twice on his way to making 73 off 48 for the visitors, who were sent in to bat first by Tom Latham.
The second spill, by Ravindra at deep backward point, wasn’t costly, as it came when he was on 68, but the first, a tougher chance to Daryl Mitchell at first slip, came when he was only on 10 off 14.
Mendis brought up his half-century off 36 balls with a six in the 12th over but was dismissed when he hit a slower ball by Ben Lister to Ish Sodhi at short third. The left-arm seamer finished with 2-37 from his four overs, while Adam Milne and Sodhi each took 1-30 from their four.
Kusal Perera (33 off 21), Pathum Nissanka (25 off 25) and Dhananjaya de Silva (20 off 9) all made useful contributions as Sri Lanka posted 182-6.
Brief scores: Sri Lanka 182-6 in 20 overs (Kusal Mendis 73, Kusal Perera 33, Ben Lister 2-37) lost to New Zealand 183-6 in 19.5 overs (Tim Seifert 88 off 48, Tom Latham 31 off 23) by four wickets.

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