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Lanka prevail over New Zealand in final encounter

Sri Lanka snatched victory from the jaws of defeat winning by just 20 runs in Napier on Sunday after bowling out the hosts in the 49th over.

india Updated: Jan 08, 2006 15:04 IST

Chaminda Vaas took four wickets to help Sri Lanka win by 20 runs against New Zealand and prevent a Kiwi sweep of the five-match limited-overs cricket series on Sunday.

Vaas took the vital wicket of New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming for a duck in the game's first over, then returned to take three wickets in his last two overs, to cut the hosts' series-winning margin to 4-1.

An innings of 112 by New Zealand's new batting hope, Peter Fulton, seemed likely to give the home team a convincing win and complete a sweep of a series which was postponed after massive tsunami that struck Sri Lanka on December 26, 2004.

The tall right-hander followed half-centuries in the second and fourth matches of the interrupted series with a century from 120 balls to cement his place in New Zealand's middle order and to provide his team with a winning chance.

He confidently guided New Zealand's run chase after Sri Lanka made 273-6 batting first after winning the toss and the home team lost Fleming and Lou Vincent inside the first two overs.

Fulton combined in partnerships of 108 with Nathan Astle (47) and 78 with Hamish Marshall (35), coming to the wicket with New Zealand 13-2 and leaving 180 minutes later when they were 224-5 and within 50 runs of victory.

The innings disintegrated on his departure, however, as Vaas bowled a brilliant second spell to remove Chris Cairns (28), Daniel Vettori (2) and James Franklin (3) and to give Sri Lanka victory with 10 balls to spare.

First Published: Jan 08, 2006 08:46 IST