Sri Lanka 218 (Mahela Jayawardene 104, Mitchell McClenaghan 4-36, Adam Milne 2-37) lost to BLACKCAPS 219-7 in 43.0 overs (Corey Anderson 81, Brendon McCullum 51) by three wickets at Hagley Oval, Christchurch.
Adam Milne and Trent Boult worked up a head of steam early to restrict the visitor’s scoring opportunities, as they struggled with Milne's pace in particular - it was only a matter of time before the pressure was converted to wickets.
First Milne trapped opener Dimuth Karunaratne lbw for five, before Kumar Sangakkara, who failed to score from his first twelve balls, succumbed to the pressure, slashing Milne to Kane Williamson in the gully, where he took another remarkable diving catch to send him to the shed for four.
Wickets fell regularly after that, but the one that eluded the BLACKCAPS was Mahela Jayawardene, who put together a typically classy innings to hold Sri Lanka’s innings together.
The veteran batsman showed all his experience to construct his 18th ODI century - while his teammates fell around him, Jayawardene remained steady and reached three figures from 104 balls.
It assured Sri Lanka a score in excess of 200, but a strong finish with the ball from the BLACKCAPS would not allow them much more.
A three-wicket-maiden from Mitchell McClenaghan took Sri Lanka from 200-5 to 200-8, with just one ball separating him from a hatrick. He finished with figures of four for 35 from 10 overs, while being well supported by Milne (2-37) and Nathan McCullum (1-38).
The BLACKCAPS pursuit got off to the worst possible start, with Guptill cutting it straight to point without a run on the board. Run-rate wouldn’t be a problem for long though, with some McCullum fireworks setting Hagley alight.
The skipper smashed 51 in an explosive 22 ball knock, including three sixes and six fours, bringing up his 50 from just 19 balls. All McCullum's power was on display with savage cuts to the rope and drives over the circle, as well as some delicate placement on the leg side.
When he was stumped by Kumar Sangakkara from Sachithra Senanayake, it prompted a mini-collapse, as McCullum, Williamson (15), Tom Latham (15) and Grant Elliott (1) all lost their wickets for 38 runs.
Thanks to the earlier fireworks and low total, the run rate was never an issue as long as wickets could be maintained, and the ship was steadied when Corey Anderson (81) and Nathan McCullum (25) made a partnership of 60 get within sight of the finish. Anderson played a mature innings and did just what was required while McCullum played the support role to perfection.
When Anderson went lbw to Tillakaratne Dilshan with ten required, the match was all but over and despite a little nervous running from Adam Milne, the BLACKCAPS ran out winners by three wickets to lead the ANZ ODI Series 1-0. The next match is in Hamilton on Wednesday.