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Twin centuries from Taylor and Nicholls ensure a crushing 115 run win over Sri Lanka in 3rd ODI 

Pavan Suresh
394   //    08 Jan 2019, 12:21 IST

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On the back of brilliant centuries by Ross Taylor and Henry Nicholls, New Zealand defeated Sri Lanka by 115 runs in the 3rd and final ODI played at the Saxton Oval, Nelson on Tuesday. It was a dominating performance by the hosts who outplayed Sri Lanka in all departments.

Sri Lankan captain Lasith Malinga won the toss and decided to field first and it was he who got the early breakthrough, dismissing Martin Guptill for 2 runs. Colin Munro played some lovely strokes before being dismissed for 21 runs. However, Ross Taylor and New Zealand captain Kane Williamson steadied the innings and took them to 55 for 2 at end of 10 overs.

After the Powerplay overs, Taylor and Williamson put the pressure on the Sri Lankan bowling line-up as the latter reached his half-century off 56 balls while the experienced Ross Taylor soon reached his 50 off 61 balls. However, Williamson was dismissed soon after for 55 by Sandakan.

Ross Taylor and Henry Nicholls then took on the Sri Lankan bowlers with aplomb and smashed them all around the park with some big hitting. While Taylor reached his 20th ODI century off 112 balls, Henry Nicholls reached his fifty off 44 balls. Both of them continued to attack the Sri Lankan bowlers to all parts of the ground right till the very end.

Towards the end of the innings, Taylor was dismissed for a well-made 137 off 138 balls after adding 154 runs for the 4th wicket with Henry Nicholls, who was in an ultra-aggressive mood, reaching his century off 71 balls. He remained not-out on 124 off 80 balls. He also added 63 runs for the 5th wicket along with Jimmy Neesham. In the end, New Zealand posted a massive total of 364 for 4 in 50 overs.

Chasing a massive target of 365 runs to win, the Sri Lankan openers Niroshan Dickwella and Dhananjaya de Silva got the team off to a flying start as the pair added 66 runs for the opening wicket. However, Dhanajaya was dismissed for 36 by Tim Southee and Sri Lanka were then 73-1 after 10 overs.

Dickwella and Kusal Perera added 41 runs for the 2nd wicket before Sri Lanka lost 3 quick wickets. The latter scored 43 runs before being dismissed by Lockie Ferguson. Once again, it was Thisara Perera, who continued his superb form, who took on the New Zealand bowlers and reached his half-century off 42 balls.

Unfortunately, the left-handed batsman could not carry on like last time and was dismissed for 80. He added 101 runs for the 7th wicket with Gunathilaka but it was a little too late. In the end, Sri Lanka lost their last three wickets without any runs and were bowled out for 249.

With this win, New Zealand complete a whitewash over Sri Lanka in the 3 match ODI series. Their next ODI series will be against Team India.   

Brief scores: New Zealand 364 for 4 in 50 overs (Ross Taylor 137, Henry Nicholls 124*, Lasith Malinga 3/93) beat Sri Lanka 249 in 41.4 overs (Thisara Perera 80, Dickwella 46, Ferguson 4/40) by 115 runs.

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