Kiwis take ODI series lead in Christchurch

New Zealand

New Zealand drew first blood in the five-match ODI series against Sri Lanka when they beat their Asian visitors by seven wickets at the Hagley Oval on Boxing Day.

Kiwi fast bowler Matt Henry took four early wickets to rock the Sri Lanka top-order as the away side only managed to score 188 all out after winning the toss and deciding to bat.

The Black Caps batsmen then took centre stage and wasted little time in knocking off the runs as the hosts needed just 21 overs to win the match, with only three wickets down.

Henry accounted for Tillakaratne Dilshan (9), Lahiru Thirimanne (1), Dinesh Chandimal (5) and captain Angelo Mathews first ball, while fellow seamer Adam Milne got rid of opener Danushka Gunathilaka (8) to leave Sri Lanka on 27 for five.

Five wickets down soon became six when Doug Bracewell had Chamara Kapugedera caught by Mitchell Santner for just eight as the visitors slipped to 65 for six.

Milinda Siriwardana (66) and Nuwan Kulasekara (58) put on 98 for the seventh wicket to resurrect the innings somewhat but they folded quickly when that partnership was broken.

Henry finished with figures of four for 49 in 10 overs while Bracewell took three for 37 in a fabulous bowling performance from the home team.

New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum (55 off25 balls) and opening partner Martin Guptill (79 from 56 balls) then took the Sri Lanka bowling attack apart, adding 108 in just 10 overs to settle the match.

The second game of the series takes place at the same venue on Monday.