January 25, 2015 12:07:26 pm
Ross Taylor and Kane Williamson fell agonisingly short of centuries but New Zealand’s imposing total ensured they beat Sri Lanka by 120 runs in the sixth ODI on Sunday to take an unassailable 4-1 lead in their seven-match series.
Both batsmen fell in their nineties after combining in an 117-run partnership that powered New Zealand to 315 for eight wickets.
Sri Lanka’s Kumar Sangakkara tied the record for most ODI dismissals by a wicketkeeper and then returned to top-score for his team with 81 but their meek chase ended in the 41st over when they were shot out for 195.
Sri Lanka lost their last seven wickets for just 49 runs with New Zealand all-rounder Corey Anderson taking four for 52 and Mitchell McClenaghan picking up two in a strong bowling display by the hosts.
“You are not always going to get wickets, but today( on Sunday) it was nice. It was nice to get through 10 overs today as well,” man-of-the-match Anderson said at the presentation ceremony.
“Feeling reasonably good with the bat, and I thought the way Rosco and Kane played helped make my job easier.”
Taylor and Williamson came together with New Zealand on 59 for two and were not separated until the latter was run out for 97 due to a communication breakdown.
The 30-year-old Taylor sought to make amends by anchoring the hosts through to the final overs and was in sight of his 12th ODI century when he was trapped leg before by Tillakaratne Dilshan for 96.
Anderson added a quickfire 40, while Grant Elliott was 21 not out with Kyle Mills run out for nought on the final ball of the innings.
It was the second successive score in excess of 300 by the hosts at University Oval in Dunedin after they ran up a massive 360 for five in the fifth game on Friday to take a 3-1 lead.
Lahiru Thirimanne, who is leading the side in the absence of the injured Angelo Mathews, said Sri Lanka’s main issue was their bowling in the closing stages of the innings.
“Our concern is our death bowling. We bowled the first 35 very good, but not so in the last 15 overs,” he said. “We couldn’t get any wickets and we leaked runs.”
The 37-year-old Sangakkara, who is expected to retire from international cricket after the World Cup, joined Adam Gilchrist on 472 dismissals as a wicketkeeper when he caught opening batsman Martin Guptill for 28 off Thisara Perera.
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