Sangakkara ensures consolation win in finale

New Zealand

Kumar Sangakkara's 21st ODI century was the backbone for his side's 34-run victory against New Zealand on Thursday, as the visitors wrapped up the series with a consolation win in the seventh ODI in Wellington.

The Black Caps still won the series four-two, but were unable to humiliate Sri Lanka at the Cake Tin, failing to chase down the 288 required. Sri Lanka had made 287 for six, with Sangakkara recording 113 not out.

Sri Lanka won the toss and opted to bat, looking to end the series on a high note after being relatively poor throughout. They started off well, as the openers put on 71 runs for the first wicket inside 15 overs.

Lahiru Thirimanne was the first to fall, out for 30 when he was trapped LBW by Corey Anderson. This brought Sangakkara and Tillakaratne Dilshan together, and they combined their experience to put on a century stand.

Dilshan recorded 81 off 98 balls before being removed by Tim Southee. This left Sanga to do most of the rest on his own, as wickets tumbled at the other end thanks to Anderson, Southee and Kyle Mills.

The Kiwis' chase started off poorly as they lost both openers for single figures inside four overs. Martin Guptill was out for a duck in the first over, while Tom Latham made just six.

This again left Kane Williamson to do the work, while Ross Taylor fell for 11. Nearly all the middle order batsmen got starts, into at least the 20s, but none could convert into a match-winning score.

Williamson was the only player to reach a half ton, out for 54, while Luke Ronchi made 47. But the Sri Lankan bowling was on point and they never gave up when a batsman got slightly set. Debutant Dushmantha Chemeera had a good start, taking two wickets.

Sangakkara added to his batting by becoming the leading taker of wicketkeeping dismissals in ODI cricket, overtaking Adam Gilchrist's previous best of 472.

The sides are set to face each other again in the opening match of the World Cup, on 14 February.

Latest