New Zealand scoop series with 120-run victory


DUNEDIN: New Zealand wrapped up their one-day series against Sri Lanka with a game to spare Sunday when Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor orchestrated a 120-run win in game six.

Williamson (97) and Taylor (96) provided the backbone of New Zealand’s 315-8 in their 50 overs and Sri Lanka were all out for 195 in the 41st over.

The win puts New Zealand 4-1 up in the seven-match series with one game washed out.

Only Kumar Sangakkara looked at ease in Sri Lanka’s run chase with 81 off 66 deliveries, but none of the other recognised batsmen were able to get past 30 as New Zealand all-rounder Corey Anderson stamped his mark on the game.

Anderson smacked 40 from 28 balls to support Williamson and Taylor during New Zealand’s innings and then took four for 52 with the ball as the Sri Lankan batsmen again showed a lack of fight.

After reaching 146-3, Sri Lanka lost their last seven wickets in 11.4 overs for just 49 runs following a familiar pattern of collapses earlier in the series.

Sangakkara went to the wicket in the 13th over after Tillakaratne Dilshan, who has two centuries so far in the series, was caught behind off Anderson for 21.

Stand-in captain Lahiru Thirimanne lasted for 29 runs and Dimuth Karunaratne contributed 26.

No other batsman reached double figures with the veteran Mahela Jayawardene surviving two reviews before being unquestionably caught for nine.

New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum, who won the toss for only the second time in the series, opted to bat first after the home side compiled 360-5 on the same wicket when they won game five by 108 runs on Friday.

But it was a disastrous start for the aggressive batsman who was out on the second ball he faced, and fellow opener Martin Guptill struggled to 28 before his departure reduced New Zealand to 59-2.

Williamson and Taylor then mounted what amounted to a match-winning 117-run partnership for the third wicket.

Williamson, who should have been removed on 27 when Dilshan dropped a regulation chance at short cover, faced 95 balls for his 97.

In his past 14 innings, he has now posted two hundreds and eight half centuries.

Taylor, who has 11 ODI centuries to his name, faced 102 deliveries for his 96. (AFP)