Peter is a sports writer at the Bay of Plenty Times

Cricket: Local talent delivers on big stage

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Black Caps captain Kane Williamson scored his second half century at Bay Oval yesterday. Photo / Andrew Warner
Black Caps captain Kane Williamson scored his second half century at Bay Oval yesterday. Photo / Andrew Warner

The Black Caps won a thrilling Twenty20 clash with Sri Lanka yesterday to put the final gloss on an unforgettable two days of international cricket at Bay Oval.

Following Tuesday's ODI win, the Black Caps kept their nerve to just hold on and win the Twenty20 encounter by three runs in front of a record crowd of 7845 spectators.

Put into bat by Sri Lankan captain Dinesh Chandimal, the Black Caps made a competitive 182/4 built on openers Martin Guptill and captain Kane Williamson, who scorched away to be 97/0 after 10 overs. Guptill followed his 102 on Tuesday with 58 off 34 balls while Williamson made 53 off 31 balls.

Sri Lanka never gave up the chase, despite the steady loss of wickets that slowed their progress. The fact they took the game to the final ball is indicative of the World Twenty20 champions' ability to chase down big totals.

Tauranga's Trent Boult was named Man of the Match with an energetic four overs of left arm pace bowling that saw him rewarded with 3-21.

"There was some good batting from our top order and put a good score on the board. I might have got a little bit lucky but a lot of us bowled pretty well and got the job done in the end," Boult said.

"It is always challenging coming back after a little time off in to a team with pretty good momentum and everyone's doing pretty well. To come in and contribute to a win is the main thing."

With his first delivery Boult had a huge appeal given not out against Tilikaratne Dilshan for caught behind. The Black Caps went upstairs to third umpire and former Tauranga boy Billy Bowden, who made the decision to send Sri Lanka's most experienced batsman back for 0.

"Dilshan is obviously a massive wicket for them so it was nice to get him early on and then everyone put pressure on after it was set up nicely by a pretty good total," Boult said.

Boult's mate from intermediate days, Williamson enjoyed two wins captaining the Black Caps this week.

"There are a lot of new faces I guess swapping formats," Boult said. "Kane is doing well and I can imagine it is a very tough job with how fast the game goes. You have 120 balls to think of all these outcomes and stuff. I hope he is enjoying it."

They leave behind two unforgettable days of cricket played at a venue NZ Cricket must surely be considering for international cricket every summer.

On what was served up this week the Bay Oval deserves nothing less.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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