New Zealand A have taken a 1-0 lead in their best of three One Day series against Sri Lanka A, beating the hosts by 28 runs in the opening match at Pallekele International Stadium.
Anaru Kitchen (62), Colin Munro (70) and Luke Ronchi (84) all played significant roles in New Zealand’s innings, helping to lift them to 350 for eight from their 50 overs. In reply, a century from Dimuth Karunaratne kept Sri Lanka in touch for much of the match, but a late collapse saw their chase end after 47.4 overs on 322.
Kitchen and Munro produced a strong platform for New Zealand, before some Ronchi fireworks ensured the side would score in excess of 300. The 32-year-old smashed six fours and five sixes in his 67 ball innings, before departing in the 42nd over.
Late cameos from Andrew Ellis (46) and Scott Kuggeleijn (43 not out) added the finishing touches to secure a very competitive total.
Sri Lanka’s response was on track for the first 35 overs, reaching 241 for one. While the top three all made scores of 50 plus, led by Karunaratne, the middle-order could not maintain their momentum and a string of wickets followed.
Adam Milne and Anton Devcich were the pick of the New Zealand bowlers, picking up three wickets apiece. Andrew Ellis capped off a productive day with two scalps of his own.
The two teams square off in the second one day matches on Tuesday.