New Zealand v Sri Lanka T20s
Munro, Guptill savage Sri Lankan attack
Martin Guptill and Colin Munro made quickfire 50s as New Zealand defeated Sri Lanka by nine wickets
10 January 2016, 12:51 PM AEST
Big-hitting Colin Munro says he's enjoying the freedom to play his natural game after a record-breaking performance in New Zealand's nine-wicket Twenty20 win over Sri Lanka.
Munro smashed the fastest T20 half-century by a Black Cap as the home side chased down the 143 target with 10 overs to spare to take the series 2-0.
The 28-year-old left-hander reached exactly 50 off 14 balls in Auckland on Sunday, bring up the winning runs with his seventh six.
It beat the record set earlier in the inning by opener Martin Guptill, whose own half-century had taken 19 balls, four fewer than the mark Guptill had shared with Aaron Redmond.
It was also the second fastest fifty in T20 internationals behind Yuvraj Singh's 12-ball effort for India against England in 2007.
Munro rejoined the Black Caps for the first time this summer for the T20 series against Sri Lanka and he scored 36 off 33 balls in the three-run win in game one in Mt Maunganui.
He wasn't sure whether he had batted his way into the squad for the World T20 beginning in India in March, but he was relishing his move up the order.
"I'm really enjoying the freedom at No.3," he said.
"It's given me a bit of a licence to go out there and play my natural game. So far it's working really well."
Munro's 16-minute innings at Eden Park began after Guptill's 25-ball knock had ended on 63, when he was caught behind off seamer Thisara Perera.
Sent into bat, Sri Lanka mustered 8-142, with Angelo Mathews providing the bulk of their runs with a career-high 81 not out.
They lost wickets early and regularly, often to catches in the deep off aggressive shots, and only one other batsman, experienced opener Tillakaratne Dilshan, managed to get into double figures.
Dilshan reached 28 before reverse sweeping a catch off Grant Elliott.
"Thanks to Angelo, finally we could put a competitive total at the end," Sri Lanka skipper Dinesh Chandimal said.
"But I'm really disappointed with the way we played."
Elliott, who in the Black Caps' last appearance on Eden Park hit the winning six in the epic World Cup semi-final against South Africa in March, again played a major hand.
The part-time seamer took 4-22 off his four overs, while spinning all-rounder Mitchell Santner (2-24) and fast bowler Adam Milne (2-36) grabbed the other wickets.
The result gave New Zealand all three series against the tourists, after winning both Tests and taking out the five-match ODI series 3-1.
It also meant Sri Lanka, who are the defending World T20 champions, have lost their No.1 ranking in the format, with the West Indies edging above them.