Johannesburg:Sanath Jayasuriya blasted Sri Lanka to a seven-wicket victory against New Zealand in just 17.3 overs in the ICC Twenty20 World Cup group C match at Johannesburg on Saturday.
The flamboyant Lankan opener was named the Man of the Match for his brilliant knock of 61 off 44 deliveries which consisted of three sixes and six boundaries.
Chasing 165, Jayasuriya and Upul Tharanga continued from where they had left in their previous match against Kenya as the bombastic duo went on a rampage hitting eight boundaries and four sixes for their 82-run stand.
Daniel Vettori gave New Zealand a much needed breakthrough when he had Tharanga caught out for 37.
Kumar Sangakkara, who joined Jayasuriya seemed out of sorts and struggled in the middle before losing his wicket to Scott Styris for 14 when Ross Taylor caught him at deep square leg.
Earlier, the Kiwis put up 164 for seven after Daniel Vettori elected to bat.
Ross Taylor's 51 off 31 balls helped the Kiwis to steady their run rate and take it upto 8.29. He along with Jacob Oram smashed the ball all around the park for fours and sixes.
New Zealand did not have the best of starts as opener Brendon McCullum was caught by Lasith Malinga for 10 runs in a bid to play a pull short off Dilhara Fernando.
He was dropped twice by Lanka but Malinga held on to the catch the third time to give the islanders their first breakthrough.
Fernando struck again in his consecutive over to send Lou Vincent back to the hut for 14 runs leaving the Kiwis struggling at 25 for two in 5.1 overs.
Taylor and Peter Fulton and got together to put up a 70-run partnership and played some brilliant shots to step up the momentum for the Kiwis.
After Fulton's dismissal, the Lankan bowlers were successful in pegging back New Zealand as Scott Styris fell to Sanath Jayasuriya for just two runs in the 12th over and the Black caps got a further jolt as Crag McMillan was run out for two in the next over.
Taylor contributed significantly and made 62 runs with three sixes and three boundaries before he was caught by Kumar Sangakkara off Malinga. Next to follow him was Vettori for three.
For Sri Lanka, Fernando took two wickets while Jayasuriya, Gayan Wijekoon and Malinga took one each.
Both New Zealand and Sri Lanka come into this match at the back of resounding wins over minnows Kenya.
New Zealand: Brendon McCullum, Lou Vincent, Peter Fulton, Ross Taylor, Scott Styris, Jacob Oram, Crag McMillan, Daniel Vettori, Shane Bond, Mark Gillespie, Chris Martin.
Sri Lanka: Upul Tharanga, Sanath Jayasuriya, Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Chamara Silva, Jehan Mubarak, Gayan Wijekoon, Dilhara Fernando, Lasith Malinga, Chaminda Vaas.