Ross Taylor and Henry Nicholls produced splendid centuries to see New Zealand complete an emphatic win over Sri Lanka in the third and final one-day game of the series played at Saxton Oval, Nelson. With this result, New Zealand completed a clean sweep in the three-match one-day series.
In pursuit of 365 runs, Niroshan Dickwella and Dhananjaya de Silva got Sri Lanka off to an excellent start and added 66 runs in space of eight overs. Pacer Tim Southee provided crucial breakthrough and trapped Dhananjaya right in front to see Sri Lanka lose their first wicket.
Dickwella played well and scored 46 off 37 balls with the help of three fours and two sixes. All-rounder James Neesham dismissed Dickwella, who once again failed to capitalize on a good start.
Kusal Mendis and Dasun Shanaka fell in quick succession to see Sri Lanka placed at precarious position at 117 for 4 after 17.1 overs. Kusal Perera scored 43 runs off 49 balls with the help of five fours and a six. Sri Lanka lost wickets at regular wicket as New Zealand took control of the game.
All-rounder Thisara Perera once again produced a splendid innings and added 101 runs with Danushka Gunathilaka to see Sri Lanka fight till the end. Perera scored 80 runs off 63 balls with the help of seven fours and three sixes.
Once again, New Zealand dropped a lot of catches in this game but in the end it didn’t prove to be too costly as the side won the game by 115 runs.
For New Zealand, pacer Lockie Ferguson was the pick of the bowlers with four wickets. Leg-spinner Ish Sodhi also picked up three wickets and conceded 40 runs from his eight overs.
New Zealand beat Sri Lanka by 115 runs in the third and final game played in Nelson
Earlier in the day, Sri Lanka won the toss and opted to bowl first. Captain Lasith Malinga made early inroads with the new-ball to dismiss Martin Guptill and Colin Munro inside five overs.
Captain Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor formed a partnership to rebuild the innings for New Zealand. Williamson produced a half-century before being dismissed by left-arm Chinaman Lakshan Sadakan in the 26th over of the innings.
Ross Taylor was once again produced a splendid innings in this game and produced a 154-run stand with Henry Nicholls to see New Zealand register a mammoth score of 365 runs from their 50 overs. Taylor notched up his 20th century in limited-overs cricket and scored 137 runs off 131 balls with the help of nine fours and four sixes.
On the other hand, left-hander Nicholls produced his maiden century in limited-overs cricket. He produced unbeaten 124 runs off just 80 balls with the help of twelve fours and three sixes.
For Sri Lanka, Lakshan Sandakan was the only bowler that proved to be economical in the game. Lasith Malinga picked up three wickets and conceded 93 runs from his ten overs.
Sri Lanka will take on New Zealand in the one-off T20 game that will be played on 11th January in Eden Park, Auckland.