Thisara Perera gives the Black Caps a scare

Martin Guptill was at his swashbuckling best in the first ODI against Sri Lanka smashing 138 from 139 balls

Martin Guptill was at his swashbuckling best in the first ODI against Sri Lanka smashing 138 from 139 balls

With Sri Lanka chasing New Zealand's 319 for seven, they were on the ropes at 128 for seven when Perera opened up.

Despite his thunderous efforts, the tourists were all out for 298 as they succumbed to a 21-run defeat to the Kiwis, who claimed an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series.

But Perera refused to give up as he bludgeoned the New Zealand attack with brute force.

Thisara came to the crease with his side toiling on 121-5 in pursuit of 320 for a series-levelling win - but proceeded to slam 13 sixes and eight fours in a career-best 140 from 74 balls, his first ODI ton.

He made 58 in a 75-run stand with Lasith Malinga for the eighth wicket, and scored 45 of the 51 runs for the ninth wicket with Lakshan Sandakan. Perera simply encouraged those batsmen to block out the bowlers until he could get back on strike and take up the contest again.

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Reflecting on his boundary-laden innings, Thisara said: "I'm really proud of myself because it's my first century".

"For the last eight years I'm batting No 8 or No 9".

Jimmy Neesham earlier thrashed 64 from 37 balls to help New Zealand set an impressive score. But the New Zealand innings was hit by four run outs which included the wickets of Munro and Taylor.

Opener Danushka Gunathilaka played his part at the top of the order with 71 but elsewhere the Sri Lankan batsmen failed to fire. Suddenly guys are under pressure to execute their skills with the wind factor here - there were a few fumbles.

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