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Tharanga hundred can't stop defeat

New Zealand 285 for 8 (Vincent 70, Fleming 65, Fulton 59) beat Sri Lanka 267 (Tharanga 106) by 18 runs

Upul Tharanga's century was in vain as Sri Lanka slipped to an 18-run defeat against New Zealand in their final World Cup warm-up. Chasing 286, Tharanga hit ten fours and two sixes in his 106 off 112 balls, but he did not get any major support from his batting team-mates.

While Sri Lanka were disappointed to fall short, New Zealand were relieved after they suffered an embarrassing two-wicket defeat to Bangladesh on Tuesday. Lou Vincent (70) and Stephen Fleming (65) shared an opening stand of 131 in 24 overs and Peter Fulton gave the innings a boost with 59 as they reached 285 for 8.

It was a dramatically improved batting effort from New Zealand, although they later discovered Fulton had broken a finger. New Zealand finished strongly when they added 78 off the final ten overs and the batsmen were particularly harsh on Muttiah Muralitharan, who conceded 64 off his ten overs for the wicket of Ross Taylor (30).

Sri Lanka, who rested Sanath Jayasuriya and Chaminda Vaas, relied on Tharanga at the top of the order and he dominated the opening stand of 115 with Marvan Atapattu. Atapattu made only 24 before Shane Bond ended the partnership and while Tharanga was around Sri Lanka had a good chance.

However, he went with the score at 180 and the innings started to unravel. Three run-outs did not help Sri Lanka's cause and when Chamara Silva went for 40 it was left to Russel Arnold. Arnold was unbeaten on 32 when he ran out of partners. Bond picked up 2 for 50 while Scott Styris and Jacob Oram also collected two wickets.