Sri Lanka beat New Zealand by 8wickets to keep ODI series alive

Nelson—Brendon McCullum, who remained out of action with a back injury as New Zealand managed to put up a challenging total of 276 against Sri Lanka in their 3rd ODI on Thursday. But Lankan batters held their nerve to keep the ODI series alive after registering fine eight-wicket win at Nelson's Saxton Oval.

The Sri Lankans finally had a reason to smile on their tour of New Zealand, albeit on New Year's Eve, after halting the New Zealand’s 12-match-winning streak on home soil by chasing the target and overhauling the hosts 276-8 with contemptuous ease with the help of inexperienced Jeffrey Vandersay, Danushka and Dumantha Chameera. 

New Zealand openers gave a sturdy start for their team with 42 in 7.3over. Guptill managed to score 30 before he cut the ball in to the diving hands of Dilshan and Latham scored 42 before his attempted sweep hit the top edge and went in to the hands of the fielder at fine leg.   

In one over Vandersay claimed Tom Latham for 42 and Ross Taylor without scoring to give the 25-year-old leg-spinner his first wickets in his second international match. Chameera, 23, in his seventh ODI, claimed Martin Guptill and Henry Nicholls, caught Williamson and ran out Santner.

Williamson, who notched his 22nd ODI half-century top scored with a 59 that summed up an unfulfilling innings by the Kiwi following their astonishing back-to-back triumphs in Christchurch.

By the end of the innings the average stood at 5.54, helped by Mitchell Santner's 38 and Tim Southee's 18 off four balls in the last over.

Sri Lanka who has been in a slump came strong with Gunathilake and Dilshan who managed to put up 98 runs before Gunathilaka was caught at slip off the bowling of McClenaghan on 65.

Dilshan, who has scored more than 10,000 one-day runs, had failed in the first two games of the five-match series with innings of nine and seven put up a strong stand with Thirimanne that resulted in 111 partnership between the two before Dilshan was run out on 91. 

Chandimal came in and helped Thirimanne finish up the chase chipping in 27 runs while Thrimanne managed to score 87, not out as Sri Lanka made 277-2 with 3.4 overs remaining.

Danushka Gunathilaka, who blasted a 45-ball 65, for his first one-day international half century was declared Man of the match. 

The fourth match of the series is also in Nelson on Saturday.   

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