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Brilliant Sangakkara sets up Sri Lankan win

He breaks wicketkeeping record as team concludes ODI series with 34-run victory over New Zealand

Brilliant Sangakkara sets up Sri Lankan win - Cricket News
Kumar Sangakkara scored 113 off 105 balls helping Sri Lanka post 287 for 6.

A crafty 113 off 105 balls from Kumar Sangakkara helped Sri Lanka register a 34-run win over New Zealand in the seventh and final One-Day International between the two sides in Wellington on Thursday (January 29). 

New Zealand had already sealed the series, but the moral-boosting win meant Sri Lanka took the scoreline to 4-2.

Sri Lanka reached its highest score of the series, scoring 287 for 6 in 50 overs and then shot down New Zealand for 253 in 45.2 overs. And when Sangakkara took a superb diving one-handed catch to remove Corey Anderson, he became the most successful ODI keeper. It was his 473rd dismissal, bettering Adam Gilchrist’s record by one.

Sangakkara added 104 runs with Tillakaratne Dilshan (81) after Lahiru Thirimanne (30) and Dilshan got the visiting side off to a steady start with 71 runs for the first wicket in 15 overs. However, once Dilshan was dismissed caught behind in the 33rd over by Tim Southee, there were no other significant partnerships. Thisara Perera smashed a helpful 20 off 12 balls, but Sri Lanka could manage just 112 runs in the last 17.1 overs, with Sangakkara and Nuwan Kulasekara (12 n.o.) added 34 runs in the last 4.2 overs.

Sangakkara’s 21st ODI century, off 105 deliveries, moved him to within 11 runs of Ricky Ponting as the second-most prolific batsman in ODI history.

In reply, New Zealand lost opener Martin Guptill off the first ball of the innings when Kulasekara trapped him lbw. Tom Latham, in for a rested Brendon McCullum, failed to get going and was bowled by Shaminda Eranga for six.

With the scorecard reading 11 for 2, New Zealand was in dire need of a partnership. Ross Taylor and Kane Williamson added 31 runs for the third wicket, but the alliance couldn’t last long with debutant Dushmantha Chameera claiming the wicket of Ross Taylor with his sixth delivery.

Kane Williamson, with a cautious 54 from 83 deliveries, top-scored for New Zealand. Luke Ronchi and Daniel Vettori tried to revive the innings with a 74-run stand for the seventh wicket, but Kulasekara bowled Ronchi to quash any hopes of a New Zealand win. 

New Zealand will face Sri Lanka in the opening match of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 at the Hagley Ovel in Christchurch on February 14.

To see the full scorecard of the match between New Zealand and Sri Lanka, please click here

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