Danushka Gunathilaka plays a shot during his innings of 65 off 45 balls © Getty Images
Danushka Gunathilaka plays a shot during his innings of 65 off 45 balls © Getty Images

Sri Lanka managed to bounce back in the ongoing five-match One-Day International (ODI) series in style with an eight-wicket thrashing of New Zealand in the third one-dayer at the Saxton Oval on Nelson on Thursday. Chasing 277 to keep themselves alive in the series after trailing the hosts 0-2 in the series, the Sri Lankan top-order responded brilliantly to the occasion to make the chase look easy. Tillakaratne Dilshan (91 off 92 balls) top-scored with his 47th ODI fifty and formed vital partnerships with Lahiru Thirimanne (87 off 103) and opener Danushka Gunathilaka (65 off 45 balls) as Sri Lanka managed to end New Zealand’s 12-match winning streak on home soil in the 50-over format, aside from giving the Sri Lankan supporters something to cheer about for the first time in their tour so far. Gunathilaka was awarded the Man of the Match for his maiden ODI fifty in his fourth one-day appearance. SCORECARD: New Zealand vs Sri Lanka 2015-16, 3rd ODI at Nelson

New Zealand earlier were restricted to a score of 276 for the loss of eight wickets in their quota of 50 overs, with stand-in skipper Kane Williamson top-scoring with a 73-ball 59. The Black Caps, whose batting order barely faced any hurdles in the series so far thanks to some brilliant spells from the likes of Matt Henry and Mitchell McClenaghan, were put to test in the third game, as the visitors kept them in check with wickets at regular intervals. UPDATES: New Zealand vs Sri Lanka 2015-16, 3rd ODI at Nelson

New Zealand won the toss and elected to bat at the start of the game, with Williamson replacing the injured skipper Brendon McCullum, with Tim Southee playing his first game in the ODI series by coming in place of the consistent Henry. Adam Milne came back to the side after recovering from injury to replace Ish Sodhi. The Sri Lankans, on the other hand, decided to make only one change — with Nuwan Pradeep replacing Sachithra Senanayeke.

Brief scores:

New Zealand 276 for 8 in 50 overs (Kane Williamson 59, Tom Latham 42; Dushmantha Chameera 2 for 38) lost to Sri Lanka 277 for 2 in 46.2 overs (Danushka Gunathilaka 65, Tillakaratne Dilshan 91, Lahiru Thirimanne 87; Mitchell McClenaghan 1 for 39) by 8 wickets.

Man of the Match: Danushka Gunathilaka.

Full Scorecard

(Amit Banerjee, a reporter at CricketCountry, takes keen interest in photography, travelling, technology, automobiles, food and, of course, cricket. He can be followed on Twitter via his handle @akb287)