BIRMINGHAM - New Zealand cruised to a comfortable 6-wicket victory over Sri Lanka when they successfully chased a daunting target of 357 runs in the last round of the warm-up matches for the ICC Champions Trophy.

 Sri Lankan batsmen, riding on century from Upul Tharanga and fifties from Kusal Mendis and Dinesh Chandimal, reached a mammoth 356 for 7, their consecutive 300+ total in warm-up matches and that too in losing cause. There bowling faltered in front of Martin Guptill and Kane Williamson’s gritty knocks.

Ahead of their opener in the main draw of ICC Champions Trophy 2017, Black Caps have salvaged an easy win with two of their main batsmen coming back to full form. Sri Lanka, on the other hand, will play their first game against South Africa and have lots to ponder upon especially in the bowling department.

Opting to bowl, New Zealand bowlers were hammered all over the park with Trent Boult leaking runs. Barring Mitchell Santner, Corey Anderson and Tim Southee, all the bowlers remained expensive as Sri Lanka piled up a mammoth 356 for 7 in 50 overs. Tharanga was breath taking in his 110-run knock with 13 fours and 3 sixes. Chandimal and Mendis notched up fifties, whereas the late flourish was provided by Kusal Perera and Seekkuge Prasanna.

In reply, Kiwis opened with their regular pair, Tom Latham and Guptill, and they responded with an aggressive start. Latham fell for 49-ball 44 but Williamson and Guptill led the onslaught with fearless striking. Guptill’s form was the highlight of the day for the Kiwis as he slammed 116, studded with 16 fours and 5 sixes. Williamson played second fiddle with a 60-ball 88. The duo retired out to give more chance to other batsmen. Ross Taylor failed to grasp the chance, but Neil Broom and Corey Anderson initiated the finishing act with perfection courtesy an unbeaten stand. New Zealand will play Australia in their tournament opener, whereas Sri Lanka will face South Africa on June 3.

Scoreboard

SRI LANKA:

N Dickwella c McClenaghan b Southee 25

U Tharanga c Milne b McClenaghan 110

K Mendis run out 57

D Chandimal b de Grandhomme 55

T Perera c Latham b Milne 10

K Perera c Latham b Southee 38

S Prasanna c Broom b Boult 23

N Kulasekara c Taylor b Boult 4

C Kapugedera not out 15

EXTRAS: (b 2, lb 5, w 11, nb 1) 19

TOTAL: (8 wickets; 50 overs) 356

FOW: 1-65, 2-163, 3-212, 4-237, 5-305, 6-309, 7-318, 8-356.

BOWLING: TA Boult 5-0-47-2, AF Milne 8-0-48-1, TG Southee 8-0-48-2, MJ McClenaghan 7-0-54-1, CJ Anderson 7-0-39-0, MJ Santner 6-0-34-0, JS Patel 6-0-48-0, JDS Neesham 1-0-15-0, C de Grandhomme 2-0-16-1.

NEW ZEALAND:

M Guptill retired out 116

T Latham lbw b Prasanna 44

K Williamson retired out 88

R Taylor c Tharanga b Prasanna 11

N Broom not out 37

C Anderson not out 50

EXTRAS: (b3, lb3, w6, nb1) 13

TOTAL: (4 wkts; 46.1 overs) 359

FOW: 1-78, 2-235, 3-263, 4-275

BOWLING: N Kulasekara 5-0-36-0, S Lakmal 7.1-0-62-0, N Pradeep 6-0-37-0, S Prasanna 10-0-63-2, T Perera 7-0-42-0, L Sandakan 9-0-80-0, C Kapugedera 2-0-33-0

TOSS: New Zealand

UMPIRES: RK Illingworth and RA Kettleborough

MATCH REFEREE: BC Broad

RESERVE UMPIRE: PR Reiffel (Australia)