New Zealand v Sri Lanka, 5th ODI, Mount Maunganui January 5, 2016

Guptill and Henry seal series for New Zealand


New Zealand 294 for 5 (Guptill 102, Williamson 61, Taylor 61) beat Sri Lanka 258 (Mathews 95, Chandimal 50, Henry 5-40) by 36 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

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WATCH - Highlights of New Zealand's 36-run victory

Martin Guptill's measured tenth ODI hundred helped drive New Zealand to 294 for 5, but it was fast bowler Matt Henry, in his third outstanding turn in the series, who clinched the match and the series for New Zealand with 5 for 40.

Sri Lanka had been in sight of their target, with 58 required from 40 balls, before Henry struck thrice in ten deliveries to swing the match definitively in New Zealand's favour. He first rushed Chamara Kapugedara with a waist-high short ball, which the batsman could only top-edge to fine leg. Then next over, Henry delivered a head-high bouncer just outside off stump, which Angelo Mathews dragged to the deep square-leg fielder, to get out on 95. Sri Lanka's great hope now dismissed, Henry also removed Dushmantha Chameera in that over. When Nuwan Kulasekara holed out at the start of the 48th over, Sri Lanka fell 36 runs short of the hosts, who took the series 3-1.

Ross Taylor and Kane Williamson had also produced fine supporting innings for Guptill, contributing 61 apiece, while Trent Boult took 3 for 43 in his first game of the series. Mathews had helped resurrect the chase from 3 for 33, but though he had some support from Dinesh Chandimal, who hit 50, and Milinda Siriwardana, who struck 39 from 22 balls, he did not find a partner with whom to wrest the advantage for Sri Lanka.

It had seemed an unlikely pursuit from the early overs, in which the required rate had also climbed. Boult made the first dent in Sri Lanka's innings, but it may be fair to say that Tillakaratne Dilshan was equally complicit in his dismissal. Boult angled balls across Dilshan from around the wicket, but he still attempted an over-the-shoulder scoop in the third over. Dilshan only managed to send the ball floating to the wicketkeeper, off the edge. Lahiru Thirimanne played the ball onto his stumps next over, to give Henry his first scalp, before Danushka Gunathilaka mis-hit a lofted drive off Henry to Ish Sodhi, who took a good catch backpedaling from mid-on.

Mathews and Chandimal then rebuilt sagely after those losses, but their pursuit of singles and twos was hindered by another sublime New Zealand fielding performance. The hosts made sprawling saves in the infield and on the fence, and perhaps their only fault was missing the stumps with their throws. They had at least two opportunities to have Mathews out for less than fifty, but could not effect direct hits.

Chandimal departed attempting a heave over the legside after the required rate had crept above eight. His 65-ball 50 had helped give Sri Lanka a platform, but they required acceleration. Siriwardana provided that for a while, launching two leg-side sixes off Adam Milne in one over. He even reverse-slapped Mitchell Santner for four, but the spinner hit back to have Siriwardana caught at deep square leg in the same over.

Mathews' running was characteristically chaotic, but his bating was serene. He took smart runs into the outfield while Sri Lanka rebuilt, but also made calculated srikes, which were often perfectly executed. Mathews ran at the seamers often, and generally smoked them down the ground. The midwicket region was also productive for him. Mathews' dismissal was a double-blow, because not only had he fallen to the short ball yet again this tour, but it was also another score of 90-odd - this one particularly unfulfilling, as it came in a series defeat.

Earlier, there were signs of Guptill preparing for another assault in the Powerplay, but for most of his 102 off 109 on Tuesday, Guptill sought to accumulate, instead of accosting. It was against Thisara Perera that his innings eased into gear. Guptill flayed Thisara through the covers in the fourth over, then collected a high, straight six and two consecutive square boundaries off the bowler before the end of the Powerplay.

When the field relaxed, with New Zealand at 55 for 1 after 10 overs, Guptill and Williamson quickly established a pattern of collecting risk-free runs into the outfield. The seam movement and carry that Mathews had hoped for at the toss did not materialise, and Nuwan Pradeep was the only bowler to get any movement off the deck. Once that disappeared, Guptill and Williamson both began hitting short balls in well in front of square, which suggested the surface was not particularly quick either.

Williamson was serene as ever at the crease, inching towards his eighth fifty in 12 innings as Sri Lanka introduced spin via Tillakaratne Dilshan and Siriwardana. Guptill himself moved to his third half-century in the series with a swept four off Siriwardana in the 19th over; Williamson got to the milestone in the 22nd. Their stand grew to 122 before something of a freak dismissal ended Williamson's stay two overs later. He aimed a swivel-pull off a short leg-side delivery from Dilshan, but managed only to glove it, then bounce it off his thigh pad towards wicketkeeper Chandimal, who snatched it low to the ground.

Guptill progressed in much the same fashion alongside Ross Taylor, striking the occasional boundary off the bad balls, but otherwise happy to exploit the vacant green spaces. There were two sixes off his bat in the middle overs - one over deep midwicket and a flat-batted strike over the long-off boundary. He went on to bring up his century with an edged four through vacant slips.

Guptill departed soon after, mistiming a hoick to long-on off Kulasekara, but by now Taylor had shaken off his poor form. He and Luke Ronchi began the death-overs charge - Taylor favouring the deep midwicket area - after Henry Nicholls had holed out for 2.

With six wickets still in hand after the 45th over, New Zealand might have hoped for a brutal finish, but those expectations were tempered by Taylor's departure, slogging Kulasekara to the square-leg fielder. Excellent death bowling from Kulasekara crimped the flow of boundaries, and Pradeep bowled well in support until the final over, where he leaked 16 runs, including two Santner sixes from the last three balls. Kulasekara was the best of Sri Lanka's bowlers, carried through by experience to figures of 3 for 53, though he still hasn't recovered his lost swing.

Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. @andrewffernando

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • maxi on January 6, 2016, 16:30 GMT

    I don't think we would have won the series even if we had an experienced guy like Tharanga at top, but could have leveled it. When you look at the overall picture during past 12 mths, certainly we have a big hole in #1 & 3 spots, which need some experienced hands with already proved capabilities, by longer records. When you compare the 3 Odis went down with the match SL won, the clear difference was the number of big partnerships lacked from the top. I think playing long ings & putting up huge stands consistently is a special skill. This you can gain only by vast experience in different conditions & situations. Sanga & MJ had it but not Dilshan. The only other guy who specialized that skill is Tharanga. But unfortunately he had been taken out of the equation, with no chances given to open for over 2 y now. Currently his confidence level must be at the lowest, natural to any human subjected to such treatment. It is worthwhile bring him in Odis as #1 & #3 in Tests with a FAIR Window.

  • Kepili on January 6, 2016, 13:50 GMT

    @bknpradeep: "Bring back Tharanga is not an option and not possessed enough technique to survive in demanding condition..." Before echoing the same baseless slogan of doom loving group, including merit-less selectors, answer the following questions. Do you know how many years & matches Upul had played under those demanding conditions everywhere in the world, facing strongest opponents, to put up 5k+ runs as 2nd fastest in SL? Can you tell me if he has a major technical flaw, how he survived to score 1631 runs @ 35.45 Av, facing 2245 balls (mostly new ball) as No1 Opener in those rigorous conditions outside subcontinent ?

    Also tell me if he has such a big technical issue (uncommon to any other left-handers), how he survived to put up world-class batting records given below ?

    Tharanga is World's ever best Odi batter in 200+ long partnerships & World's 2nd best consistent # 1 opener in putting up big TONS & Fifty plus scores! His 38 x 50+ yielded 3166 runs for SL @ 102 av-84 SR!

  • Samantha on January 6, 2016, 12:59 GMT

    @VKohlitheGreat: This is not an excuse but actually what happened. You are wrong, Sanga & Tharanga were not in the whole series.

    The main cause of that white-wash was 10 ball gate-openings by Kusal perera who opened 4/5 matches to collect 4 runs @ 1.33 Av -15 balls -26.66 SR - with 2x DUCKS!

    Tharanga was unjustly sent home after 1st odi (scored 28 runs & steadied the ship staying & withstanding the devastating new ball seam attack prevailed was over, when Dilly & Sanga fell inside 13 overs chasing 360. When UT was out in the 16th the score was 86, requiring 280 in 34 overs7 wkts in hand & PP & last 10 ov remaining to whack).Tharanga was sent home to put Kusal Perera back in the opening spot. Sangakara played only 2 Odis in that series.

    Malinga was missing too, so no point comparing that.

  • Ant on January 6, 2016, 6:48 GMT

    So near yet so far for Sri Lanka, it was 50/50 at worst for them with 60 balls left. If Nicholls drops Matthews over the rope, SL more than likely would have won. Nicholls doesn't appear to be a natural striker and the team will improve vastly with a fully fit Corey Anderson at 5 or 6. Ish Sodhi's black floppy cap looked magnificent, was stylish and should come common place rather than this 'ANZ blue' and black cap. Quite proud of the black caps performance today, given SL bowled well enough to deny them the extra 20 or 30 they probably should have got

  • Rohan on January 6, 2016, 6:47 GMT

    Amid the excuse from majority of SL fans about the retirement of few players, one thing comes to my mind. How were the SL whitewashed 5-0 in India when they had 1) Sanga, Mahela, Dilshan & Tharanga playing that series 2) Dhoni totally missed out on that series 3) India had a few players making their debut. There has to be some disconnect somewhere, maybe it is that once they leave the island, they are mediocre at best.

  • Atit on January 6, 2016, 6:03 GMT

    The conclusion that I have been able to make out of comments in the previous matches on this tour is that if Upul Tharanga had been playing for SL, they would have thrashed NZ for sure. If the selectors had selected exactly the opposite set of players, they would have thrashed NZ for sure.

  • chethana on January 6, 2016, 4:51 GMT

    My odi team for future; 1.Kusal Janith Perera 2.Dhanushka Gunathilaka 3.Dimuth Karunarathna 4.Dinesh Chandimal 5.Anjelo Mathews 6.Milinda Siriwardene 7.Kithruwan Vithanage/Chamara Kapugedera/Dasun Shanaka; Kusal,Chandimal,Mathews has 50+ FC averages. Dimuth & Kithruwan has 45+ FC averages. Dhanushka & Milinda are season performers. This is the best team we can select according to their Domestic Performances. We need to be patience with someone like Kithruwan as well.

  • Buddhika on January 6, 2016, 4:05 GMT

    Our Future XI for ODI'S 1 Kusal 2 Guna 3 Tharanga/Dimuth 4 Chandi 5 Mathews 6 Milinda 7 Kapu 8 Kula 9 Sachie 10 Vandsay/Pradeep 11 Chameera No Thirimanne No Dilshan Should be given last chance to Kapugedara to play another 2,3 games

  • Dilum on January 6, 2016, 2:55 GMT

    How can you blame batsman for this loss. 294 is a very good score on this pitch. Kiwis did really well to get there. But we could have restrict them to another 20 or 30 less if Captain Mathews took decisions according to a plan. He was never a great strategist. It is a key feature for a captain. Take a look at Mahela, Arjuna, Baz, ABD. They can understand the situation and work according to that. They use all their resources and they were active on the field. Mathews was given the captaincy because Mahela and Sanga did not like the captaincy of Dilshan. This was a huge mistake. Dilshan may be not the gentleman like Sanga, Mahela or Mathews. But he has done a good job in SA in 2012 which we won 2 games. Mathews did well in early days as he has all the support from KS and MJ which Dilshan did not get. Now Mathews has exposed himself as a terrible captain

  • Dinesh on January 6, 2016, 0:51 GMT

    Need to play the best batsman in critical no 3 position... look who played in no 3 . Kane (NZ), Ricky(Aus), Koli (Ind) etc. so need someone with good skills to play at no 3 position. Even youngsters like Kusal Mendis, Dimuth K , Niroshan D should have been tried..

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