Colombo: Lasit Malinga produced an excellent spell of fast bowling to pick up four wickets and take Sri Lanka to victory by 97 runs.
Earlier, a maiden one-day international century from Thilan Samaraweera rescued Sri Lanka from a precarious 69-5 to post a competitive 216-7 in the opening game of the Compaq Cup tri-series against New Zealand here on Tuesday.
Samaraweera, who faced 124 balls and hit 10 boundaries, has long been regarded as a test specialist and had not been considered for limited-over matches for almost four years.
Scorecard: SL Vs NZ: 1st ODI
Sri Lanka later bowled the New Zelaland out for just 119 in the 37th over. Malinga was the pick of the Lankan bowlers, finishing with figures of 4-28.
"I had a lot of pressure because a lot of people were saying that I can't play one-day cricket," Samaraweera told reporters after being named player of the match. "I thought my ODI career was over but I believed I can do it because we struggled in the middle order and I had a dream run in test cricket over the past 18 month.
Malinga's hostile spell came at a stage when the Black Caps were already struggling to overcome the early jolts after being reduced to seven for three inside first five overs.
Sri Lanka earned a bonus point for their comprehensive win, which was sealed with 13.5 overs to spare.