Queenstown, December 31:

New Zealand snatched a nailbiting last ball victory over Sri Lanka after tail-ender James Franklin guided the hosts back from the brink of disaster in their one-day international here on Sunday.

The Queenstown crowd erupted in celebration as number 11 batsman Michael Mason found the boundary off the last ball of the match. But it was J Franklin who had put New Zealand in the position for victory with 45 crucial runs in the final overs. The victory levelled the series 1-1 with three matches to play after New Zealand scored 228-9 in their 50 overs in reply to Sri Lanka’s 224-7.

New Zealand appeared to be cruising to victory earlier but the introduction Muttiah Muralitharan (3-31), ensured the result continued to hang in the balance.

Kumar Sangakkara topscored with 89 for Sri Lanka, and appeared set for a century before being unluckily run. Skipper Daniel Vettori was again the stingiest of the New Zealand bowlers, taking 1-37. Gillespie with 2-46 and Mason (2-50) redeemed themselves

after taking a thrashing at Napier.

SRI LANKA

U Tharanga c Taylor b Mason 23

S Jayasuriya b Mason 1

M J’wardene b Gillespie 4

K Sangakkara run out 89

M Atapattu b Vettori 22

C Silva c H Marshall b Franklin 31

T Dilshan c Taylor b Gillespie 8

F Maharoof not out 29

C Vaas not out 9

Extras: 8 (3b, 4w, 1nb)

Total: 224/7 (50 overs)

FoW: 1-4, 2-14, 3-50, 4-102, 5-176, 6-177, 7-192

New Zealand bowling: Gillespie 10-0-46-2, Mason,10-1-50-2, Franklin 10-0-46-1, Adams 10-0-42-0, Vettori 10-0-37-1

NEW ZEALAND

B McCallum lbw b Maharoof 32

J Marshall run out 50

R Taylor run out 15

P Fulton lbw b Muralitharan 2

D Vettori b Malinga 19

C McMillan c J’wardene b Muralitharan 2

H Marshall c & b Dilshan 29

J Franklin not out 45

A Adams lbw b Muralitharan 6

M Gillespie c Maharoof b Vaas 11

M Mason not out 4

Extras: 13 (5lb, 4nb, 4w)

Total: 228/9 (50 overs)

FoW: 1-57, 2-65, 3-91, 4-121, 5-126,

6-141, 7-175, 8-194, 9-223

Sri Lanka bowling: Vaas 10-0-46-1,

Malinga 10-0-53-1, Maharoof 8-0-40-1, Muralitharan 10-1-31-3,

Jayasuriya 5-0-28-0, Dilshan 7-0-25-1