Colombo, March 29: Some sharp bowling from the Lankan spinners, especially at the death limited the Kiwis to a modest total of 217. Just as the Kiwis were winding up for late surge, the Lankans put the breaks on them and effected a latter-order collapse as the Black Caps went from 204/6 to 217 all out in 48.5 overs. Scott Styris bound most of Kiwi innings with a valiant 57 with some amount of help from Taylor (36), Guptill (39) and Williamson (22), but in the end the Lankan bowlers prevailed with Ajantha Menduis the stand out with 3/35.
After reaching a sluggish 93/3 in 25 overs, Scott Styris and Ross Taylor decided to get a move on. Styris smashed Malinga for two fours in the 26th over to bring up New Zealand's 100. Then the batting duo pro-actively pushed for ones and twos, scaling to 137/3 at drinks after 33 overs.
In the 37th over, Styris took a single off off-break Thillakratne Dilshan to bring up New Zealand's 150 as he and Taylor looked to press ahead. With a view of upping the run-rate, Taylor tried finding the midwicket boundary, but found the fielder instead. Ajantha Mendis had got the breakthrough, the batsmen was on his way for 36 off 55 balls and New Zealand were 161/4 in 39.1 overs.
Then Styris took a single off Herath to notch up his fifty in the 41st over. Meanwhile, Kane Williamson began to up the ante, smashing a four off Malinga and then two consecutive boundaries off Murali. But Malinga struck back to trap the batsman in front for 22 off 16 balls and New Zealand were 192/5 in 43.3 overs.
Nathan McCullum carted Murali for a big six to help New Zealand cross the 200-run mark in the 45th over, but could do little else as he was caught behind off Malinga in the next over and the Kiwis were 204/6, with Jacob Oram the new man at the crease. He straight away got Malinga away fine for a boundary.
Then the spinner retaliated with Mural trapping Styris in front for 57 off 77 balls and then Dilshan removing Oram for 7 off 9 as the Kiwis slumped to 215/8 in 47.4 overs. Then Mendis polished off the innings, getting Tim Southee and Andy McKay out in the penultimate over. Sri Lanka had slumped to 217 all out.
The New Zealand innings got off to a positive start with Martin Guptill pulling away Lasith Malinga for a four in the first over. Then Brendon mCCullum did the same to slow-left-armer Rangana Herath in the second after which Guptill flicked Angelo Mathews fine for another boundary. Then in the fifth over, McCullum carted Herath for a huge six before running a double as the visitors moved onto 29/0 in 6 overs.
But in the next over, Herath bowled McCullum for 13 and New Zealand were 31/1 in 7.1 overs. With Jesse Ryder the new man at the crease, the run-rate slowed down a tad. In the 12th over, Ryder struck a four and then took a single off Mendis to bring up the Kiwi 50.
Then in the 19th over, Muralitharan had Ryder caught behind for 19, as NZ slipped to 69/2. Malinga then rattled Guptill's stumps with a yorker. The batsman was on his way for 39 and New Zealand had slipped to 84/3 in 21.3 overs. The Kiwi innings was progressing slowly, reaching 93/3 in 25 overs.