'I wasn't out of form' - Taylor
Ross Taylor had not scored a fifty during Sri Lanka's visit until his 96 in Dunedin on Sunday, but despite a string of mediocre scores, the batsman said he had never been out of form. His previous four innings had yielded an aggregate of 65, but he rebounded to play a knock that was instrumental to New Zealand's progress to 315 for 8 in the sixth one-dayer.
"It was nice for me to score some runs, because it's been a long time between drinks," Taylor said. "I wasn't out of form, I just wasn't scoring any runs. We were still winning games, so the team could probably carry me for a little bit. At the same time, you have your own standards and you want to contribute to a team performance. I wasn't doing that. Today was a start. It's a long campaign and hopefully I'm scoring runs heading into the World Cup."
Taylor had tinkered with his technique in the early stages of Sri Lanka's tour, but suggested he returned to a more familiar approach on Sunday. He had also worked with long-time mentor and coach Martin Crowe during the series.
"I probably worked on a few things that didn't work," Taylor said. "It was just nice to go back and keep it simple. With [Crowe], we worked on using my feet a bit more as well as some other things to evolve my game a little bit and hopefully be a better player. It would have been nice to get a hundred with Kane Williamson, but it wasn't meant to be."
Taylor scored almost a third of his runs square on the offside, hitting five of his seven fours in the arc between third man and deep cover. He had been guilty of trying to cut too close to his body earlier in the series, particularly to the spin of Rangana Herath, but was largely untroubled on Sunday.
"I get myself into trouble when I look too square too early," he said. "If they bowl me something there, then your instinct takes over and you start looking for that shot. When it's not there, sometimes, you're waiting for a little bit of a release. But today my feet started moving even better than it did the other day. (Tillakaratne) Dilshan saved a couple, but I probably got one or two past him."
The match was also Daniel Vettori's 280th ODI for New Zealand, making him the most-capped one-day player for his country. Vettori had a guard of honour from his teammates as he walked onto the field, and delivered eight overs at an economy-rate of 2.75. He was particularly effective against Mahela Jayawardene, who narrowly avoided being dismissed by Vettori twice.
"Dan didn't want a big hoo-ha about the event, but it's a special moment for a player who has had a great career," Taylor said. "He will go down in New Zealand history as one of our best. He's been bowling pretty well in most games, but today he got the ball to hold a little bit, and that's always been great. Mahela and Kumar Sangakkara are pretty good players of spin, but he was able to bowl dot balls to them on a pretty good wicket."
Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. @andrewffernando