NZ A prevail in high-scoring game
New Zealand A 350 for 8 (Ronchi 84, Munro 70, Serasinghe 2-46) beat Sri Lanka A 322 (Karunaratne 120, Chandimal 69, Devich 3-58) by 28 runs
Sri Lanka A's lower-order buckled late during a steep chase of 351 in Pallekele, giving New Zeland A a 22-run victory in the first of three one-dayers between the two sides. The victory is New Zealand A's first on their trip to the subcontinent, after having been whitewashed in the one-day series against India A, in addition to losing the unofficial Test series to Sri Lanka A.
Opener Dimuth Karunaratne anchored Sri Lanka A, stitching century-run stands with Kusal Perera and captain, Dinesh Chandimal. Sri Lanka were 314 for 5 towards the end of the 46th over, needing 36 runs off 25 balls. Their slide began when left-arm spinner Ronnie Hira had Sachithra Serasinghe out leg before for 7 off the last ball of the 46th over. New Zealand pace bowler Adam Milne then took three wickets in the 47thover, to leave Sri Lanka tottering at 316 for 9. It took another four balls for New Zealand to secure the win, after wicketkeeper Luke Ronchi had Suranga Lakmal run out for 1.
Karunaratne's run-a-ball 120, which included 17 fours, kept Sri Lanka in the chase and he received good support from Perera and Chandimal. Sri Lanka lost a cluster of wickets after Karunaratne fell but recovered with a brisk knock from Ashan Priyanjan.
Earlier, New Zealand A rode on fifties from Anaru Kitchen, Colin Munro and Luke Ronchi to reach an imposing 350 for 8. They had an indifferent start, losing Anton Devcich early, but Kitchen held things steady with a 50-ball 62. Once he fell, New Zealand slipped a little but an 85-run stand between Munro and Ronchi set the side back on track. After Munro's wicket, Ronchi took charge of the innings, adding 76 crucial runs in quick time with Andrew Ellis. Two big overs towards the end of the innings then propelled NZ A to 350.
Sri Lanka bowlers Shaminda Eranga and Suranga Lakmal had been added to the A team in order to get some match practice in a lean period for the national team, but both fared poorly. Eranga's ten overs cost 84 and Lakmal went for 7.28 an over. They took one wicket apiece.