At Hamilton, March 29. New Zealand won on scoring-rate. Toss: New Zealand. International debut: J. C. Gamage.
New Zealand, who had not won any kind of series since December 1992, gained a decisive 2-0 lead by a technical knockout in the Hamilton rain. With their heaviest puncher, Greatbatch, lost to a back injury, New Zealand gambled by promoting Nathan Astle, a notional all-rounder, to open - and he virtually won the game himself. A free-stroking right-hander in his fourth international, Astle hit a solid 95 in 137 balls. With brief blasts from Rutherford and Cairns, followed by a brisk 61 from Parore, New Zealand reached 280. The Sri Lankan batting faded quickly - 16 for two, 46 for four, 111 for six - and they were well behind the rate when the arrival of rain presented a merciful end for everyone.
Man of the Match: N. J. Astle.