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A strong death bowling performance has left New Zealand needing 277 to take a 2-1 lead in their seven match ODI series with Sri Lanka, in Nelson.

Sri Lanka were on track to easily pass 300 at Saxton Oval, but a late flurry of wickets wrestled the momentum back in the Black Caps’ favour.

Mahela Jayawardene came in with his side well placed at 113-2 and looked set to really punish New Zealand.

He and Kumar Sangakkara have scored more runs in ODI cricket than the entire New Zealand World Cup squad and both filled their boots today.

Sangakkara, batting at first drop, scored 76 from 83 balls.

He added 102 for the second wicket with Tillakaratne Dilshan then another 67 with Jayawardene.

Adam Milne removed Sangakkara for the third time in three bats in this series, but he should have been dismissed soon after passing 50 when Mitchell McClenaghan dropped a sitter at short fine leg.

Jayawardene kicked on and look in control even without his mate Sangakkara and then captain Angelo Mathews who was out first ball,

Jayawardene scored 94 off 82 balls before getting too cute off a Corey Anderson ball which he managed only to edge through to Luke Ronchi.

So from 245-4, Sri Lanka were all out in the final over for 276.

Tim Southee ended up with 3-59 while Milne and McClenaghan took 2-28 and 2-58 respectively.

New Zealand had made four changes for the series’ fourth match with Southee, Milne, Kane Williamson and Grant Elliott coming in for Tom Latham, Nathan McCullum, Trent Boult and Matt Henry.