Corey Anderson's four wickets helped New Zealand seal the series against Sri Lanka © Getty Images (File Photo)
Corey Anderson’s four wickets helped New Zealand seal the series against Sri Lanka © Getty Images (File Photo)

New Zealand sealed the seven-match series by inflicting a 120-run defeat on visitors Sri Lanka who with the exception of Kumar Sangakkara failed to turn up for this all important game. Corey Anderson was the pick of the Kiwi bowlers who delivered timely blows ensuring no way back for the Lankans.

Sri lankan openers began sedately in pursuit of their target. The openers added 56 runs for the first wicket before both Tillakaratne Dilshan and Dimuth Karunaratne perished in quick succession. Dilshan was caught behind as he shimmied down the wicket to Corey Anderson who cleverly pulled his length back. Karunaratne was slightly unfortunate to be caught down the leg-side for the old strangle. That brought the inform Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardena to the crease. The latter looked uncharacteristically rusty in his short innings. Jayawardena led a charmed life before eventually lobbing a simple catch to mid-off. Corey Anderson accounted for his crucial wicket.

At the other end Kumar Sangakkara was batting as though he was having a net. He has been in sublime form the entire tour but it would bitterly disappoint him that the team hasn’t benefitted from it as far as results go. Wickets continued to tumble from the other end as has been the trend with the Sri Lankan middle order. Dimuth karunaratne provided brief resistance before becoming Anderson’s third victim, caught at long-on in attempt to up the ante. The run-out of Dinesh Chandimal followed even as Sangakkara went past yet another half century. Sangakkara who was already short of support, was involved in another run-out, this time Jeevan Mendis failed to make his ground despite a valiant dive.

Sri Lanka were staring down the barrel at 168 for six. Their entire series was encapsulated in those two moments of Hara-Kiri. Its been an archetypal case of so close yet so far as they have continued to lose games in the balance and have been regularly guilty of frittering away advantageous positions. The final nail in the coffin was hammered by Trent Boult as Sangakkara lobbed a catch to mid-on. He departed for a wonderfully constructed 81 that was soon to go in vain as New Zealand completed the formalities with consummate ease bowling out Sri Lanka for 195 to seal the series four-one with an inconsequential match remaining.

Earlier, New Zealand innings began with the customary wicket in the first over of the match. Brendon McCullum was the casualty this time, he was out for a second ball duck. There wasn’t much to celebrate for the Sri Lankans subsequently. Martin Guptill got in and got out but Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor ensured those were the last moments of joy for the visitors adding 117 runs in quick time. Corey Anderson played a gem of a cameo to follow up their effort as New Zealand powered their way to another 300-plus total in the series.

Brief scores:

New Zealand 315 for 8 in 50 overs (Kane Williamson 97, Ross Taylor 95, Corey Anderson 40; Dhammika Prasad 2 for 59) beat Sri Lanka 195 in 40.3 overs (Kumar Sangakkara 81, Lahiru Thirimanne 29; Corey Anderson 4 for 52, Mitchell McClenaghan 2 for 29) by 120 runs

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