New Zealand's Brendon McCullum (L) plays a shot as Sri
Lankan wicketkeeper Kumar Sangakkara watches during their
fourth One Day International cricket match in Hambantota.
Sri Lanka have sealed their five-match one day
international series against New Zealand with a game to spare
as they eased to a seven-wicket win in another rain-scarred
The victory gave the hosts an unbeatable 3-0 lead with
Monday's final match, also in Hambantota, still to come.
Batting first New Zealand struggled to 131 for eight in 32
overs in an innings twice reduced by rain interruptions.
Sri Lanka, chasing a Duckworth-Lewis adjusted target of 131
from a maximum of 32 overs, reached their target with 34
balls to spare as Kumar Sangakkara made an unbeaten 42 and
Dinesh Chandimal, recalled and opening for the first time in
a ODI, scored 43.
The result meant that for the first time in ODI history three
successive matches in a series have been decided using the
Duckworth-Lewis method, testimony to the fact that rain has
been an almost ever-present feature of the tour.
New Zealand captain Ross Taylor told the post-match
presentation: "The weather didn't make it easy but Sri Lanka
played smart cricket right from the toss and they put us
"We were beaten by the better side on the day but we've still
got one more match to go and 3-1 looks a lot better than 4-0.
"Hopefully the weather plays its part (on Monday) and we can
give our fans back home something to cheer about."
Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardena said: "We spoke before
the match about not being complacent and that we needed to
execute our game-plans.
"We were lucky with the toss but our bowlers stuck to their
guns, took regular wickets and put them under pressure. All
in all it was a very good game for us."
Sri Lanka's margin of victory was convincing, although their
top-order batsman were made to struggle by New Zealand's
opening bowlers as Tim Southee (1-32) and Trent Boult (1-32)
went past the edge of the bats of Chandimal and Upul Tharanga
on a number of occasions without success.
The New Zealanders did not help their cause with the bat,
with in-form BJ Watling (15) run out after hesitation with
partner Brendon McCullum, who himself was guilty of a rash
shot, drilling a ball from spinner Rangana Herath to long-on
to fall for 30.
Leg-spinner Jeevan Mendis then tormented the New Zealand
middle-order with three for 15 from four overs, which
included the dismissal of Kane Williamson (21) and Nathan
McCullum (0) in successive balls.