After New Zealand whitewashed Sri Lanka by 2-0 in the Test series, the focus shifted to ODIs as the two sides locked horns in the first of the three-match series at Eden Park in Auckland on Saturday, March 25. Sri Lanka captain Dasun Shanaka won the toss and invited New Zealand to bat first.
Kiwi openers Chad Bowes and Finn Allen added 36 runs for the first wicket before the former was dismissed for 14 off 15. Allen continued his knock and ended up scoring 51 off 49 to keep New Zealand’s innings going. His innings ended when Chamika Karunaratne dismissed him in the 19th over.
Following his dismissal, Daryl Mitchell provided stability in the middle order with his knock of 47 off 58. He added 66 runs for the sixth wicket with Glenn Philips (39 off 42) and took New Zealand past 200. Another brilliant knock by Rachin Ravindra (49 from 52 balls) helped the hosts reach 274.
Chamika Karunaratne was the pick of the bowlers for Sri Lanka as he registered the figures of 4/43 in nine overs. Kasun Rajitha and Lahiru Kumara also picked up two wickets each.
Henry Shipley’s fifer dents Sri Lanka’s batting unit
In reply, Sri Lanka got off to a miserable start in their innings as opener Nuwanidu Fernando got run out in the third over. Pathum Nissanka was sent packing in the very next over by Henry Shipley to hand Sri Lanka another setback. He further dismissed wicketkeeper-batter Kusal Mendis for a 16-ball duck, leaving Sri Lanka reeling at 20/3 after 7.1 overs.
The 26-year-old further sent Charith Asalanka and captain Dasun Shanaka on their way back to the pavilion off consecutive deliveries as Sri Lanka lost half their side within the first ten overs. Shipley finished the innings with figures of 5/31 in seven overs and picked up his maiden five-wicket haul in just his fourth ODI.
Daryl Mitchell and Blair Tickner picked up two wickets each as Sri Lanka were bundled out for 76, handing a massive 198-run victory to New Zealand. It was Sri Lanka’s fifth-lowest score in ODIs and their lowest against New Zealand.