At Auckland, February 6. Sri Lanka won by nine wickets. Toss: Sri Lanka. International debut: L. Vincent.
Sri Lanka clinched the series with their third straight win, thanks to the control of their bowlers and a magical century from Jayasuriya. Rain reduced the match to 47 overs a side, and New Zealand staggered to 22 for two in the 11th over. McMillan provided some body, with 61, but the Sri Lankan bowlers' all-round strength kept the creaky home batting to a modest 181. Any thoughts that the New Zealanders might stage a counter-attack on the slightly erratic pitch disappeared as Jayasuriya captivated the 22,000 crowd with 108 minutes of magnificent, classical batting. He simply slaughtered the bowling, hitting ten fours and six sixes in 83 balls. Atapattu collected crumbs at the other end to finish with 59, from the same number of balls as Jayasuriya, and see Sri Lanka home with 17 overs in hand.
Man of the Match: S. T. Jayasuriya.
© John Wisden & Co