Mumbai, March 18: Sri Lanka overcame an unsteady and sluggish start to post a moderately challenging total of 265/9 against New Zealand. Some tight bowling from the Kiwi seamers kept a tab on the Lankan run-flow for most of the innings, till it fell apart slightly in the face of late flourish from the Lankan latter order. Lankan captain Kumar Sangakkara's 111 was the glue that bound the innings with decent support from Jayawardene with 66 and Angelo Mathews 41. Tim Southee was the top wicket-taker with 3/63.
The Sri Lanka innings didn't get off to the best of starts. In the third over, Upul Tharanga was run out as he was backing up at the non-striker's end. Then two overs later, Tillakaratne Dilshan tried to slice Southee over third man, but ended up find Jacob Oram instead and Sri Lanka was 19/2 in 4.3 overs.
However, Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene put the house in order by striking a few boundaries between them and taking the score past 50 in the 13th over.
In the 23rd over, Nathan McCullum got into an altercation with Jayawardene after claiming a caught and bowled while Jayawardene called for the third umpire's call which bailed him out. Then the batting pair kept plugging away for ones and twos till in the 25th over, Jayawardene hit Scott Styris for a four to bring up Sri Lanka's 100.
In the 35th over, the batting duo teamed up to knock a six and a four off Styris as the score ticked past 150/2. But just two overs later, their defiant stand came to an end when Southee trapped Jayawardene in front for 66 of 90 balls. Sri Lanka was 164/3 in 36.1 overs.
Then Sangakkara decided to up the ante, clobbering Southee for two fours and a six in successive balls in the 39th over. In the following over, the batsman struck a four off Oram and ran a single to bring up his century and then celebrated with another boundary to take Sri Lanka's score past 200.
However, a couple of overs later, New Zealand got the breakthrough when off-break Nathan McCullum bowled Sangakkara for 111 off 128 balls. Sri Lanka were 210/4 in 41.4 overs. Styris got rid of Thilan Samaraweera next when he ahd him caught behind for 5.
In the next over, Nathan McCullum sent back Chamara Silva for 3 and in the following over, Southee did the same to Nuwan Kulasekara. Lasith Malinga carted Oram for a six before he top-edged the bowler in the next ball to be caught by the keeper. Muralitharan too got into the act, hitting a six of Oram before he was run out and Sri Lanka wrapped up their innings for 265/9 in 50 overs.