Matt Henry took the second five-wicket haul of his career to bowl New Zealand to a 36-run victory over Sri Lanka in the fifth one-day international and seal a 3-1 series victory at Bay Oval in Mt. Maunganui on Tuesday.
Henry, who took four-wicket hauls in two other appearances in the series, finished with 5-40 as Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews had threatened to steal victory for his side.
Mathews combined with his strong middle order to guide the run chase for 295 to snatch a draw in the series but when he was the eighth wicket to fall for 95, it effectively ended Sri Lanka’s chances and they were bowled out for 258 in 47.1 overs.
Martin Guptill top-scored for New Zealand with 102 to give the hosts a competitive, though not daunting, total of 294 for five.
New Zealand had ripped the top off Sri Lanka’s lineup to reduce them to 33 for three in the 10th over but Mathews and Dinesh Chandimal (50) produced a 93-run fourth-wicket partnership that was broken just as Chandimal reached his 15th half century.
Mathews and Milinda Siriwardana (39) then put on 62 runs in 6.4 overs to take them to within 72 runs with nine overs remaining.
The match then turned in the next three overs when Siriwardana and Chamara Kapugedara (10) were both dismissed, sending the required run rate over 10 and the chase effectively ended when Mathews became Henry’s fourth victim in the 46th over.
While Guptill had top-scored in New Zealand’s innings, it was Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor, who both scored 61, played the anchor roles to allow the opener to score his 10th one-day international century.
Guptill, the highest run scorer in one-dayers last year, hit nine boundaries and three sixes. He finished with 331 runs in the five-match series at an average of 82.75.
Sri Lanka’s bowlers did an excellent job at the end of New Zealand’s innings by clamping down on their scoring rate that had threatened to push the score well past 300.
The two sides now play two Twenty20 internationals, with the first at the same venue on Thursday. (Courtesy Reuters)