Fourth successive win for NZ

In a low-scoring match, New Zealand once again beat the challenge of Sri Lanka and won by 21 runs. They now lead the series 4-0.

india Updated: Jan 06, 2006 16:56 IST

New Zealand beat Sri Lanka by 21 runsat Wellington on Friday to go 4-0 up in their five-match one-day series. The hosts,batting first, made 224 and Sri Lanka were all out in the 47th over for 203.

Batting for Sri Lanka, Kumar Sangakkara made 52 while Shane Bond took three for 39 for New Zealand with James Franklin and Jeetan Patelchipping in with two wickets each.

Earlier, Sri Lanka pace bowler Chaminda Vaas captured five for 39 to restrict New Zealand to 224 for nine off 50 overs.

Vaas varied his pace intelligently and maintained a superb line and length to slice through New Zealand's middle order after he had earlier dismissed Jamie How and Stephen Fleming.

New Zealand's innings had been held together by useful contributions from Hamish Marshall (50), Peter Fulton (50) and Fleming (37), although no one was able to kick on to a big score as they struggled with the pace of the pitch.

Last pair James Franklin (29) and Shane Bond (nine) batted out the final seven overs to take New Zealand past 200, with Franklin taking 18 runs off the final over from Dilhara Fernando.

Fleming, who was returning to the side after attending the birth of his first child, won the toss and chose to bat.

Lou Vincent and How were out early to leave New Zealand 14 for two, with Vincent's dismissal when he lobbed an easy catch to mid-on off Fernando after mis-timing a pull shot a precursor of what was to come.

Fleming and Fulton combined in a 71-run partnership before Fleming charged Vaas and was bowled with the score 85 for three.

Fulton and Marshall put on 46, with Fulton reaching his second ODI half century, before the tall right hander flicked a shot to deep backward square that was well taken by a diving Farveez Maharoof off Fernando.

Vaas then scythed through New Zealand's aggressive middle order, having Scott Styris (13) caught by Maharoof and taking an easy caught and bowled from Chris Cairns for two when the all-rounder mistimed a drive.

Wicketkeeper Brendon McCullum (one) then spooned a shot to mid-on off Vaas to give the left-armer his fifth wicket.

The five-game series had originally been due to be played a year ago but was postponed after just one match, won by New Zealand, when parts of Asia, including Sri Lanka, were hit by a tsunami.

The final game is in Napier on Sunday.

First Published: Jan 06, 2006 11:24 IST