HAMBANTOTA, Sri Lanka – Jeevan Mendis took three quick wickets as Sri Lanka restricted New Zealand to 131-8 in the fourth one-day international to boost their chances of clinching the series on Saturday.
The leg-spinner finished with 3-15 off four tight overs, including two wickets off successive balls, in the day-night match reduced to 32-overs-a-side due to rain in Hambantota.
Sri Lanka lead the five-match series 2-0 following victories in the second and third matches. The opening one-dayer was called off without a ball being bowled due to rain.
The hosts, who elected to field after winning the toss in overcast conditions, put in an impressive bowling performance and never allowed New Zealand to build a big partnership.
Brendon McCullum, who smashed left-arm spinner Rangana Herath over long-off for the first six of the match, top-scored for New Zealand with 30.
Sri Lanka got an early wicket when paceman Nuwan Kulasekara had opener Rob Nicol (11) caught by Upul Tharanga at mid-on in his third over.
Opener Bradley-John Watling, who scored half-centuries in the last two matches, could make just 15 this time as he was run out while skipper Ross Taylor made six before being caught behind off seamer Thisara Perera.
New Zealand suffered another blow when hard-hitting McCullum fell attempting a big shot, caught by Dinesh Chandimal at long-on off Herath after hitting one six and two fours in his 44-ball knock.
Sri Lanka made one change from the side that played the last match, replacing an unfit opener Tillakaratne Dilshan with Chandimal.
New Zealand brought in Andrew Ellis and debutant paceman Adam Milne in place of Kyle Mills and Jacob Oram. – Sapa-AFP