251dThe Report by Andrew Fidel Fernando

Gunathilaka, Dilshan keep series alive

Only the ever-consistent Kane Williamson crossed fifty for New Zealand, and despite a promising turn from Sri Lanka's rookie strike bowlers, the hosts mustered a competitive 276 for 8 in Nelson

Match Centre

Match Details


New Zealand , elected to bat first

Player Of The Match

Series result

New Zealand led the 5-match series 2-1

Match number


Hours of play (local time)

11.00 start, First Session 11.00-14.30 Interval 14.30-15.15, Second Session 15.15-18.45

Match days

31 December 2015 (50-over match)

Reserve Umpire

Match Referee

Commentator: Vishal Dikshit

6.55pm So that's it from us as far as 2015 goes, for international matches. The Tests ended yesterday, today was the last ODI and the leading run-scorer for the year is Martin Guptill (1489), and the leading wicket-taker is Mitchell Starc (41). Hope you enjoyed everything we brought to you, from the World Cup to the IPL to the county season, a few one-day double-hundreds, the Ashes, a lot of three-day Tests, the first Test with the pink ball, and sadly a lot of retirements. To finish things off, one BBL match is still left today so tune in for that in a couple of hours and have a great 2016! This is Vishal, signing off on behalf of Deiva and the rest of the ESPNcricinfo commentary and scoring team. See you all next year!

Sujan: "Happy New Year Fellas!!! probably what Sangakkara would say!!"

Rifnaz: "As a SriLankan fan, rather than winning I am impressed with the players to compete for a complete match than an one sided. Best of luck and Happy New Year Guys!!!!"

Rajiv Mel: "There is a saying that whatever happens on the 31stof Dec will be repeated throughout next year - Hope it will be the case for SL"

Shakeena Samadh: "Wish all my cricinfo fans and all the commenters and scorers a happy and fun filled new year with much much more cricket to share :)"

Here's the presentation:

Kane Williamson: We could have done it better but in the end it was not a bad total to defend and was probably par. We should have put up some better partnerships. The way we went about the first 10 overs (while bowling) was pretty poor and they batted very well. They kept us under the pressure by bowling well but moving forward we need small adjustments to improve.

Angelo Mathews: A very satisfying and a much-needed victory which keeps us alive in the series. We bowled very well and kept them to a chaseable total. All out batters did very well after the humiliating and embarrassing first two ODIs. It was just change of attitude today. We didn't do much right in the first two ODIs but we knew we were much better than that. We gave the license to our openers to go after the bowlers and Gunathilaka made use of that.

Man of the Match Gunathilaka: It was a good chance for me and happy to score some runs, I played my normal game. It will help my confidence well, getting the Man of the Match and my cheek/jaw is alright right now. (He had injured himself while fielding).

6.35pm So the series score reads 2-1, thanks to a comeback from Sri Lanka. They didn't bat first this time, NZ opted to bat, and that probably helped them change their strategy by bowling better, disturbing New Zealand's middle order but they did manage 276. But Gunathilaka made sure NZ's bowlers didn't have any chance, racing to a rapid fifty, and set things up for the rest of the batsmen. A rare loss at home for New Zealand, the last ODI they lost at home was way back in January, also against Sri Lanka.

Sham: "I remember BAZ saying SL's never afraid of putting up a fight. Well today they put up a great fight. outplayed New zealand in all the areas happy to se that as a South African fan ..."

Lakshitha: "Happy new year Sri Lankan cricket fans...!!! All that happened during the last year were forgotten by today's performance. :)"

Bracewell to Thirimanne, FOUR runs, short ball, pulled and it's been sent racing away to the cow corner boundary for four. That's it, SL win by eight wickets and keep the series alive. The two batsmen meet each other and exchange a few words, as if another 100 runs are left, and finally congratulate each other, before walking back
Bracewell to Thirimanne, 2 runs, it's short of length with some room, Thirimanne square drives it late to send it behind point, and third man runs a fair bit to his left to keep it to two with a dive

46 | 2 Runs | SL: 271/2 (6 runs required from 24 balls, RR: 5.89, RRR: 1.50)

  • Lahiru Thirimanne81 (101b)
  • Dinesh Chandimal27 (39b)
  • Martin Guptill1-0-2-0
  • Doug Bracewell6-0-39-0
Guptill to Thirimanne, 1 run, shorter now outside off, he waits and steers it past point for one
Guptill to Thirimanne, no run, full toss again outside off and it's driven to short cover yet again
Guptill to Thirimanne, no run, flighted full toss outside off, it's slammed straight to short cover
Guptill to Chandimal, 1 run, towards the pads now and it's helped to long leg for one

Streak ends


Consecutive home ODIs won by New Zealand before this defeat. The streak began on January 31, 2015 and ends on December 31, 2015.

Only Sri Lanka


No. of targets of 275 or more successfully chased by SL in ODIs this year losing two or fewer wickets. No other team did it even once.

Only three


Number of nervous 90s for Dilshan in ODIs, including his 91 in this match. His previous 2: 97 v Ind, RPS, 2008-09 and 99 v SA, RPS, 2013.

50 in no time


No. of SL batsmen reaching 50 within first 8 overs of the innings since 2002, including Gunathilaka - Dilshan v Ban, Dambulla, 2010 and K Perera v Pak, Pallekelle, 2015.

Chasing-friendly venue


No. of ODIs, out of five, played at this venue before have been won by the chasing team. Targets successfully chased: 319, 305, 286 and 277.

Dominating first innings


Totals of 275 or more while batting first in ODIs for NZ this year. Only SA have more (12). 8 out of those 10 totals for NZ were 300+.

Williamson's fruitful year


Runs by Williamson in International matches in 2015, third-highest in a calendar year after Ponting (2833 in 2005) and Sangakkara (2813 in 2004)