Wellington: Kumar Sangakkara's masterful double of a century and a world-record wicketkeeping performance inspired Sri Lanka to a 34-run win over New Zealand in their one-day series finale in Wellington on Thursday.
For New Zealand, Corey Anderson threatened to blast New Zealand into contention with 29 off 20 deliveries, Sangakkara's diving one-handed catch to remove the sixth wicket made him the most successful ODI keeper.
It was his 473rd dismissal, one more than the previous record set by Australian Adam Gilchrist.
In contrast New Zealand fell well behind in the run chase and appeared on the ropes when the required rate ballooned to 8.33 after the 35th over and only four wickets in hand.
But they showed their batting depth going into the World Cup next month with Luke Ronchi scoring 47 off 42 deliveries, Daniel Vettori 35 off 30 and Kyle Mills 30 but as the gap narrowed they ran out of wickets.
Fittingly, Sangakkara ended the match when he whipped off the bails to run out Mills.
At the top of the New Zealand innings Martin Guptill was removed first ball for the second time in the series.
It offered an opportunity for Tom Latham, deputising at the top of the order for rested skipper Brendon McCullum, to prove himself but he only lasted nine deliveries before he was bowled for six and New Zealand were 11-2 in the fourth over.
Dushmantha Chameera made a dream start to his international career claiming the wicket of New Zealand's senior batsman Ross Taylor with his sixth delivery.
Kane Williamson, with a cautious 54 from 83 deliveries, top scored for New Zealand who continue their World Cup build up against Pakistan in Wellington on Saturday.
Earlier, after opted to bat, Kumar Sangakkara scored an unbeaten 113 to anchor Sri Lanka to 287 for 6.
Tillakaratne Dilshan (81) and Lahiru Thirimanne (30) gave Sri Lanka a good start, adding 71 for the opening wicket before the latter fell leg before to Corey Anderson.
Sangakkara, 37, walked out at number three and then added 104 for the second wicket before Dilshan was out caught behind off paceman Tim Southee.
Sri Lanka, lost a few quick wickets but Sangakkara held the innings together and brought up his 21st century in ODIs with a crisp pull shot off Mitchell McClenaghan. The stylish left-hander, who is also on the cusp of becoming the most sussessful wicketkeeper in the 50-over format, hit 14 boundaries in his 105-ball knock.
Anderson finished with three wickets for 59 runs for New Zealand.
Earlier, Sri Lanka won the toss and opted to bat.
Tom Latham open the innings in place of McCullum while strike bowler Tim Southee comes in for Trent Boult.
Sri Lanka have made four changes with Seekkuge Prasanna, Nuwan Kulasekara, Shamiunda Eranga, and Dushmantha Chameera replacing Jeevan Mendis, Rangana Herath, Dhammika Prasad and Suranga Lakmal.
The next time these two teams meet will be in the World Cup opener on February 14 in Christchurch when Sri Lanka should be reinforced by fast bowler Lasith Malinga who has missed this series because of injury.
New Zealand: Martin Guptill, Tom Latham, Kane Williamson (capt), Ross Taylor, Grant Elliott, Corey Anderson, Luke Ronchi (wk), Daniel Vettori, Kyle Mills, Tim Southee, Mitchell McClenaghan
Sri Lanka: Tillakaratne Dilshan, Dimuth Karunaratne, Mahela Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakkara (wk), Dinesh Chandimal, Lahiru Thirimanne (capt), Thisara Perera, Seekkuge Prasanna, Nuwan Kulasekara, Shaminda Eranga, Dushmantha Chameera
Sri Lanka - 287/6 (Sangakkara 113*, Dilshan 81, Anderson 3-59)
New Zealand - 253 (Williamson 54)
Result - Sri Lanka won by 34 runs