Pallekele: Tillakaratne Dilshan hit an unbeaten 59 and Kusal Perera smashed a 37-ball 57 to propel Sri Lanka to an easy eight-wicket win over New Zealand in the second Twenty20 and a 1-0 win in the two-match series on Thursday.
Sri Lanka captain Dinesh Chandimal won the toss and asked the visitors to bat first, and they made 142 for 7 at Pallekele International Stadium. The home team reached the target with 13 deliveries to spare.
It was the only match of the five not to be affected by rain. The three-match one-day series was drawn 1-1, and the first Twenty20 was washed out on Tuesday. The result kept Sri Lanka atop the Twenty20 rankings.
Sri Lanka opener Mahela Jayawardene was trapped lbw by seam bowler Mitchell McClenaghan for 3 with the total on 8, but Perera and Dilshan quickly regained the momentum. They combined for 94 off 67 balls.
Dilshan faced 49 deliveries and hit eight boundaries while Perera, dropped on 6 and 39, entertained with two sixes and six boundaries. Perera was named Player of the Match. Offspin bowler Rob Nicol took 1 for 18. McClenaghan returned 1 for 34. Luke Ronchi scored 34 not out in New Zealand's reasonable total.
Sri Lanka bowlers rewarded their captain's decision to bowl first with early wickets that reduced the Kiwis to 14 for 2.
Useful scores from Anton Devcich (30) and Tom Latham (20) lifted them, but they couldn't get a big partnership going. Nathan McCullum made a run-a-ball 26 at the end.
Offspiner Ramith Rambukwella, on debut, returned the best bowling figures with 1 for 19 in four overs.