WELLINGTON: Veteran Kumar Sangakkara scored an unbeaten 113 as Sri Lanka posted 287-6 after electing to bat first in the seventh and final one-day international against New Zealand on Thursday.
The impressive knock off 105 deliveries moved Sangakkara to within 11 runs of Australian Ricky Ponting as the second most prolific batsman in ODI history.
He has now amassed 13,693 runs, with Ponting totalling 13,704 although both are well adrift of Indian master Sachin Tendulkar who scored 18,426.
Sri Lanka needed the expertise of Sangakkara and Tillakaratne Dilshan to give some respectability to their innings in the dead rubber, with New Zealand holding an unbeatable 4-1 lead in the series.
The pair put on 104 for the second wicket before Dilshan, one of the few Sri Lankans to have enjoyed his World Cup preparations in New Zealand, was caught behind for 81.
From six innings in the ODI series, Dilshan has hit two centuries and
Lahiru Thirimanne (30) had partnered Dilshan to get the innings away to a solid start before he was removed by Corey Anderson with the score at 71.
At the fall of Dilshan’s wicket Sri Lanka were still looking strong at 175-2 and 17 overs remaining.
But as has been the pattern in their previous innings, Sri Lanka were able to make a flying start only to find there was no substance down the order.
Mahela Jayawardene, who opened with a century in game one of the series, went for 14, Seekkuge Prasanna, appearing in New Zealand for the first time made just one, Dinesh Chandimal could only add six.
Thisara Perera hit 20 off 12 in some late lusty hitting with Nuwan
Kulasekara not out 12.
Corey Anderson was the most successful New Zealand bowler with three for 59 while Tim Southee took two for 50.