New Zealand beat Sri Lanka by one wicket in a thrilling Champions Trophy Group A encounter in Cardiff.

The Kiwi's last pairing helped them edge over the line in tense circumstances after Sri Lanka bowler Lasith Malinga had threatened to steal a low-scoring game away from them.

Tim Southee's, 13 not-out, in the company of Mitchell McClenaghan sealed the final in the 37th over with Malinga finishing with 4-34.

McClenaghan had previously claimed 4-43 as Sri Lanka struggled after winning the toss succumbing to be all out for 138 in 37.5 overs.

Things didn't start well for the Sri Lankans as Kusal Perera edged the first ball of the match to Brendon McCullum as the New Zealand's skipper magnificently flung himself and held onto the ball.

Kumar Sangakkara was Sri Lanka's only resistance as he scored 68 before he became the eighth man out.

New Zealand were expected to comfortably beat the 138 all-out set by Sri Lanka but they slumped to 80-6 after 20 overs.

The McCallum brothers, Brendon and Nathan, helped ignite the run chase with a 35-run stand for the seventh wicket.

Malinga soon ended the partnership with wickets of the pair in consecutive overs, bowling Brendon for 18 and Nathan for 33.

Controversy soon ensured with Tim Southee appearing fortunate to escape an lbw appeal from Malinga with only 12 runs needed. Sri Lanka had already used their review earlier and, to rub salt into their wounds, the ball raced away for four leg byes.

But New Zealand didn't make it easy for themselves as they lost their ninth wicket in the 35th over with just five runs needed.

Malinga had an over still to bowl and with Southee taking the strike, he successfully blocked them out before managing the required runs from Tillakaratne Dilshan's spin in the next over.

New Zealand join England in top of Group A and will face Australia on Wednesday with Sri Lanka facing England the following day.

 

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Topics:
New Zealand cricket
Sri Lanka cricket
Cricket