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Sri Lanka’s hopes of direct World Cup qualification end in loss to New Zealand

New Zealand defeated Sri Lanka by six wickets in the third and final one-day international on Friday to win the series 2-0 and end the Asian team’s chances of qualifying directly for this year’s World Cup in India. .

Chasing 158 for the win at Hamilton, New Zealand overcame a shaky start that saw them lose two wickets in the second and came home with 103 balls to spare thanks to an unbeaten 86 from batsman Will Young and a 44 not out by Henry Nicholls.

Sri Lanka elected to bat first after winning the toss, but only opening batsman Pathum Nissanka (57), captain Dasun Shanaka (31) and Chamika Karunaratne (24) managed notable scores as Matt Henry, Henry Shipley and Daryl Mitchell bagged three land each.

India and six other teams have booked their places in the World Cup from October, with West Indies taking the last automatic qualifying spot in the Super League standings. South Africa and Ireland are also in dispute.

Sri Lanka will now look to earn their place through a 10-team qualifying competition in Zimbabwe in June and July.

The 1996 world champions were awarded five points after the second ODI abandonment instead of the 10 a win would have offered and also had a point taken away for holding a slow surcharge during their 198-run defeat in the opener.

New Zealand also won the earlier Test series 2–0 to dash Sri Lanka’s hopes of reaching the World Test Championship final. They then host them in three Twenty20 Internationals, with the opener in Auckland on Sunday.

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