Cardiff, June 9 (IANS) New Zealand recorded their first win in the Champions Trophy here in Britain, narrowly edging Sri Lanka out by a wicket in a low scoring Group A encounter at the Sophia Gardens here Sunday.
Sri Lanka, electing to bat on a pitch where India had posted scores of above 300 three consecutive times, could manage a paltry 138 in 37.5 overs.
Mitchell McClenaghan was the pick of the bowlers taking four wickets while Kyle Mills and Nathan McCullum chipped in with two each.
In reply, New Zealand stuttered their way to 140 for nine in 36.3 overs with Nathan McCullum top scoring with 32.
Earlier, Sri Lanka made the worse possible opening to their innings, losing Kusal Perera on the very first ball.
Tillakaratane Dilshan smacked three boundaries in no time and it seemed that Sri Lanka were on their way, but that all changed when the opener was castled by McClenaghan on 20.
Former captain Kumar Sangakkara (68) played a lone hand as wickets tumbled around him. Mahela Jayawardene (4), Dinesh Chandimal (0), Angelo Mathews (9) and Lahiru Thirimanne (9) all failed to get into double figures.
Thisara Perera (15) broke the jinx but didn’t last too long as the tail also failed to put up a fight.
New Zealand too lost opener Luke Ronchi (7) fairly early but Martin Guptill, who was in scintillating form against England in the bilateral ODI series that concluded early this week, steadied the ship.
He struck four boundaries in his brief innings of 25 off 24 balls, falling victim to newcomer Shaminda Eranga, who took two for 45.
The Kiwis found themselves in heaps of trouble with the score at 70 for five.
A crucial 35-run partnership between the McCullum brothers edged New Zealand to the target.
However, Sri Lanka again clawed their way back dismissing the McCullums in quick succession.
Tim Southee (13 not out) held his nerve in the end and took his team past the finishing line.