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Twitter Reactions: Doug Bracewell and Scott Kuggeleijn’s all-round heroics keep Sri Lanka winless

It was a game where the batsmen from both the teams played some reckless cricket.

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New Zealand team
New Zealand team. (Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)

Sri Lanka continued show moments of brilliance on their New Zealand tour and more so, continued to throw away the defining moments of the game. They were well and truly bossing the game in both the innings but somehow managed to botch up and lose the only T20 International by a massive 35-run margin. Once again, it was Thisara Perera who led the way for the visitors but even he played a reckless shot which led to a collapse.

Chasing the total of 180 runs, Sri Lanka got off to a flyer despite losing Sadeera Samarwickrama in the very first over. Kusal Perera and Niroshan Dickwella took full toll of the small boundaries in the powerplay. However, both of them were sent back in a space of four balls as they were reduced to 45/3 in the fifth over. However, the quick-fire start had given the duo of Kusal Mendis and Perera the opportunity to rebuild the innings.

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They did the same while also keeping abreast with the run-rate. The promising stand took them close to the 100-run mark and just when one felt that the tourists were looking favourites to finally win a game on the tour, Mendis and Perera both of them played an unnecessary shot in the air to gift their wickets. Suddenly, the pressure was on the new batsmen but there was no hurry in terms of the required run-rate.

The likes of Dhananjaya de Silva and Dasun Shanaka could’ve played sensibly. But it seemed as if Sri Lanka were happy to go home early as everyone was looking to play the shots. From sitting comfortably at 118/4, they were bundled out for 144 runs in the 17th over of the innings and the last six wickets fell in the space of just 26 balls which is just unacceptable.

It was another good and not a perfect day for the Kiwis who will feel lucky to win this encounter. Lockie Ferguson though was the pick of the bowlers who ended up with 3/21 in his three overs. The pace of the debutant Scott Kuggeleijn and Doug Bracewell was also too hot to handle for the Islanders.

Bracewell and the debutant Kuggeleijn help NZ with the bat

After being invited to bat first, New Zealand‘s top-order also rusty. Kasun Rajitha and Lasith Malinga rocked them early to reduce to 27/4 and then 55/5 in the first 10 overs. This is where the counter-attack started. Bracewell proved his mettle with the bat in the absence of Jimmy Neesham and even the debutant didn’t mince his shots. The duo’s efforts helped the Kiwis add 77 runs in the last five overs as they finished on 179/7 in 20 overs.

Even with the ball, Sri Lanka kept on gdishing out helpful lengths for the batsmen and in the process conceded too many in the final 10 overs which probably cost them the game.

Here’s how Twitter reacted during the course of the game:

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