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Sri Lanka ease home

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Sri Lanka sauntered to one-day series victory over New Zealand with a game to spare thanks to a seven-wicket Duckworth/Lewis win at Hambantota.

The hosts were 2-0 up after a washout followed by two D/L results and today prevailed with 5.4 of the reduced 32 overs each remaining.

Leg-spinner Jeevan Mendis’ 3-15 from four overs was crucial in limiting the Black Caps to 131 for eight, during which Brendon McCullum top-scored with 30.

Chasing a revised 131, Dinesh Chandimal and Kumar Sangakkara built on Upal Tharanga’s early impetus with 43 and 42 not out respectively in a stand of 105.

Kumar Sangakkara

Kumar Sangakkara guides Sri Lanka to a seven-wicket win over New Zealand that gave them series victory with a game to spare

The rubber concludes at the same venue on Monday, with the first of two Tests between the teams beginning on Saturday at Galle.

Mahela Jayawardene crucially won the toss but it was more than two and a half hours before play began, initially reducing the game to 42 overs a side.

Adam Milne made his ODI debut, replacing Kyle Mills, while Andrew Ellis returned for Jacob Oram. Sri Lanka brought in Chandimal for the injured Tillakaratne Dilshan.

The home seamers kept it tight early on and the pressure told when Rob Nicol failed to clear mid-on off Nuwan Kulasekara.

McCullum lifted Rangana Herath over the long-off rope but opener BJ Watling was run out going for a second to the non-striker’s end.

Skipper Ross Taylor edged an expansive shot behind off Thisara Perera and Herath struck when McCullum holed out to long-on.

Kane Williamson and James Franklin rebuilt until Mendis claimed three wickets in two overs immediately before rain returned.

His googlies bowled Williamson, for 21, and Nathan McCullum in consecutive balls and he then had Ellis lbw without scoring to leave the tourists 107 for seven.

A 100-minute delay followed, soon after which, with 2.4 overs left, Kulasekara trapped Franklin in front for 21 and Milne took 12 runs from the last three deliveries - finishing by depositing Lasith Malinga over long-on for the innings’ second six.

Tharanga’s 27 at almost a run-a-ball dominated an opening stand of 36 with Chandimal, which ended when Tim Southee had the former held at point.

Facing a modest asking rate, Chandimal and Sangakkara progressed smoothly as the latter pulled Ellis for Sri Lanka’s first maximum.

Although Trent Boult bowled Chandimal between bat and pad, and Ellis had Lahiru Thirimanne caught behind for nought, victory soon came via a Milne wide.