Captain Kane Williamson appreciated telling contributions from twin centurions Henry Nicholls and Ross Taylor as New Zealand completed a three-nil ODI series whitewash over Sri Lanka in Nelson on Tuesday.
Taylor and Nicholls struck 137 and 124 not out respectively as the hosts won the final match by 115 runs. Fast bowler Lockie Ferguson, too, starred en route to four key wickets – and was complemented by leg-spinner Ish Sodhi’s three.
‘The improvement seen throughout the series is what I enjoyed most. This performance was a step up from the first two matches from a bowling perspective. We have been under pressure at various points and responded well. It’s been a testing series,’ said Williamson.
‘Fantastic tons from Ross and Henry came in and finished it brilliantly. It’s been very good to see guys come out and execute their roles. We need to keep doing that again.’
The veteran Taylor was named Man of the Match. The century was his 20th in the intermediate format of the international game, while Nicholls welcomed a first.
‘You get nervous at the start of every innings. I’m just trying to keep things simple and not think too much when I go out there. We’ve done the donkey work through the middle and put the icing on the cake at the end. Henry batted outstandingly well,’ added Taylor.
‘He made my job a lot easier, was busy and set the tone from ball one. I’m sure it’ll be one of many tons to come for him.’
New Zealand 364-4 (LRPL Taylor 137, HM Nicholls 124 not out, KS Williamson 55, C Munro 21; SL Malinga 3-93, PADLR Sandakan 1-54)
Sri Lanka 249 (NLTC Perera 80, N Dickwella 46, MDKJ Perera 43, DM de Silva 36, MD Gunathilaka 31; LH Ferguson 4-40, IS Sodhi 3-40, JDS Neesham 1-34, TG Southee 1-46)
New Zealand won by 115 runs