New Zealand won the opening game of the ICC World T20 2010 by defeating Sri Lanka by a narrow margin of 2 wickets with just one ball to spare. Nathan McCullum turned out to be the unlikely hero of the day by taking the Kiwis to victory with an unbeaten 16 from 6 balls which included the winning six off the penultimate ball of the game bowled by Lasith Malinga. Nathan McCullum had earlier bowled well for his 3-0-17-1 opening the bowling with his off breaks and ended up as the Man of the Match following his all-round show.
It was a low target to chase that of 136 for the Kiwis but the slow pitch at the Providence Stadium had no mood to play well for the batsmen. Opener Jesse Ryder looked good though in his strokeplay as he clobbered a couple of sixes to provide the impetus for the Kiwis. Just when he was taking the game away, Ryder threw his wicket away trying to play a cute late cut off Murali in t he 9th over. The left hander stroked his way to a 27-ball 42. There was a middle order collapse for the Black Caps and they slipped to 96 for 5 when a struggling Scott Styris (17 from 21 balls) got bowled in a desperate slog.
Jacob Oram (15 from 6 balls) seemed to turn the match on its head with a couple of sixes over long on, one of them being a one handed shot! But when he departed in the 19th over, NZ were still left with 20 to get from 11 balls. It was ultimately 10 needed to win from the final over and that was when Nathan McCullum won the match with a boundary towards backward squareleg followed up with an inside out six over long off. Vettori had played a crucial hand as well with a 15-ball 17 while taking NZ closer to the target along with Nathan McCullum. The Sri Lankan bowlers did alright but it was the better side with a huge batting depth that won the match.