Dambulla: Superb bowling by the bowlers followed by pragmatic batting by Upul Tharanga helped Sri Lanka beat New Zealand by 3 wickets in the tri-series here on Friday.
Upul Tharanga slammed a fine fifty to ensure that Sri Lanka don’t collapse after the fall of two veteran batsmen-Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene. Tharanga made 70 off 109 balls.
Tharanga, playing a perfect shit-anchor role, hit nine fours during his stay at the crease.
Chasing an easy target of 193 for victory, Sri Lanka, despite losing Tilakratne Dilshan early, crossed 100-run mark with the loss of two wickets.
Kumar Sangakkara played well for his 48 but he was undone by Scott Styris just when it seemed that the second wicket pair of Sangakkara and Tharanga would seal an easy victory for Sri Lanka. The pair added 85 runs.
Earlier, Sri Lankan bowlers put up a superb performance to bowl New Zealand out for a paltry 192 in the second match of Tri-series here on Friday.
Only opener Watling (55) and later-order bat Nathan McCullum (36) played two significant knocks to give New Zealand innings some kind of respectability against Lasith Malinga and Angelo Mathews who broke the back of the Kiwi line-up with some stunning bowling.
Electing to bat first, New Zealand started poorly as they lost three wickets before their score could reach 50.
All-rounder Angelo Mathews struck twice for New Zealand as he removed skipper Ross Taylor and Ken Williamson in the 11th over of the match, leaving the Kiwis tottering at 47/3.
Lasith Malinga inflicted the first blow for Sri Lanka when he removed opener Martin Guptill in the very first over of the match for a duck.
Opener Watling, who was plying well for his 55, was removed by Mathews to claim his third wicket of the match.
Rangana Herath, then, joined the wicket-taking party as he picked up Scott Styris for 24.
Daryl Tuffey also did not last long as he was bowled by rampaging Lasith Malinga for a duck.
New Zealand included Tim Southee in place of injured Jacob Oram while off-spinner Nathan McCullum and batsman Watling also got a look in for the match.
Sri Lanka (Playing XI): Upul Tharanga, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Kumar Sangakkara(w/c), Mahela Jayawardene, Thilan Samaraweera, Chamara Kapugedera, Angelo Mathews, Rangana Herath, Ajantha Mendis, Nuwan Kulasekara, Lasith Malinga
New Zealand (Playing XI): Martin Guptill, BJ Watling, Ross Taylor(c), Kane Williamson, Scott Styris, Gareth Hopkins(w), Nathan McCullum, Kyle Mills, Daryl Tuffey, Tim Southee, Andy McKay