At Dambulla, May 19, 2003. New Zealand won by nine runs. New Zealand 5 pts, Sri Lanka 1 pt. Toss: Sri Lanka.
Another poor game was played on a pitch Fleming described as "rubbish", even though his side won and qualified for the final. A New Zealand victory was unlikely when they were 104 for six after 43 overs, but McCullum, who faced 63 balls for his unbeaten 47, showed what could be done. Vettori then adroitly exploited conditions to take four for 14, his best one-day figures, enabling New Zealand to defend just 156. Sri Lanka's tactics were bewildering. First they opted to bowl, despite including four front-line spinners on a pitch bound to take more turn as the day wore on; then, ignoring McCullum's example and brief positive intent from Kaluwitharana, they endured a slow death. With ten required from the final over, Jayawardene, who in all faced 102 balls, was last out to a desperate reverse sweep.
Man of the Match: D. L. Vettori.