Colin de Grandhomme and Tom Bruce scored half-centuries and shared 109 runs for the fourth wicket Tuesday to help New Zealand to a tense four-wicket win over Sri Lanka in the second Twenty20 match and take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series.
Sri Lanka captain Lasith Malinga elected to bat first after winning the toss and his team scored a competitive 161-9 in 20 overs, but New Zealand chased it down with two balls to spare in a tense final over.
Sri Lankan spinner Akila Dananjaya put his team on top early by dismissing opener Colin Munro (13) with the score on 19 in the second over. Munro attempted to loft the ball over long-on and was caught by Wanindu Hasaranga.
Dananjaya struck twice in the space of two balls in the fourth over, trapping Scott Kuggelejin (8) and Tim Seifert (15) lbw, leaving New Zealand three down for 38.
Bruce joined de Grandhomme at that stage and the pair stayed together for 88 deliveries, taking the Black Caps to a winning position.
De Grandhomme scored his second half-century in Twenty20 internationals and was out for 59, caught by Avishka Fernando off left-arm seamer Isuru Udana. He was out when New Zealand had to score 15 runs to win in 10 deliveries, having hit three sixes and two boundaries off 46 deliveries.
Malinga handed the ball to Hasaranga to bowl the last over during which Sri Lanka nearly snatched the game away from New Zealand, who needed only seven runs to win.
New batsman Daryl Mitchell hit a ball straight back to the bowler Hasaranga, who flung it quickly to the wicket at the non-striker's end where Bruce was found short of his crease.
Bruce made 53 of 46 deliveries including three boundaries.
Mitchell was out in the next ball when he was caught in the deep by substitute fielder Lahiru Madushanka, leaving New Zealand to score seven off four deliveries.
Mitchell Santner hit the next ball for a six when Shehan Jayasuriya took the ball well on the full but hit the boundary rope after colliding with teammate Kusal Mendis.
Both fielders had to leave the field before Santner hit the fourth ball for a boundary to compete the win.
New Zealand won the first match by six wickets, with the last match due to be played in the same venue on Friday.
Dananjaya took three wickets for 36 runs for Sri Lanka.
Earlier Niroshan Dickwella (39) and Fernando (37) shared 68 runs for the third wicket after Sri Lanka had lost two wickets for 40 runs.
Mendis gave Sri Lanka a flashy start by scoring 26 runs off 24 deliveries, hitting two sixes and two boundaries. Jayasuriya made a useful 20 runs off 13 deliveries.
New Zealand's Seth Rance took three wickets for 33 runs while fellow seamers Tim Southee and Kuggelejin took two wickets each.