Blackcaps vs Sri Lanka: Blackcaps win despite Perera heroics

The Blackcaps have won the second ODI against Sri Lanka to win the series after a run win at Bay Oval.

Once again, Kane Williamson won the toss and elected to bat. With Martin Guptill (13) missing out with the bat this time, it was Colin Munro's turn to get the Blackcaps off to a flier.

Munro scored 87 runs off 77 balling, tying his best score in an ODI before being run out in the 26th over.

Ross Taylor batted beautifully through the middle part of the innings before he was run out for 90, setting the stage for another masterful performance from James Neesham.

Neesham finished off the innings in style, scoring 64 off 37 balls in an innings that included five fours and three sixes.

Sri Lanka captain Lasith Malinga was the pick of the bowlers, taking two wickets for 44 runs from his allotted 10 overs.

In reply Sri Lanka got off to a decent start before Tim Southee got rid of opener Niroshan Dickwella for just nine.

Ish Sodhi put on a masterclass of legspin bowling to remove Kusal Mendis,  Danish Chandimal, and Seekuge Prasanna. At 128-7 the Blackcaps looked to be cruising to victory.

That was until Thisara Perera got going. The 29-year-old hit Sodhi for 20 off his last over and was hitting every bowler all around the park in what was an inspirational innings.  

The Blackcaps should've ended the match but five drop catches delayed it in what was a poor performance in the field from the home side.

Perera tied the highest score by a Sri Lankan against New Zealand with 140 off 74 balls.

Perera's innings consisted of eight fours and 13 sixes.  

But with wickets falling around him and the hope of a nation resting on his shoulders, his magnificent innings came to end just 22 runs short after being dismissed off the bowling of Matt Henry.

The Blackcaps take a 2-0 lead heading to Nelson on January 8.