Wellington: Kumar Sangakkara hit his 21st one-day international century to lead Sri Lanka to 287-6 batting first in Thursday's seventh and last game of the one-day series against New Zealand.
Tillakaratne Dilshan made 81 and shared a 104-run second wicket partnership with Sangakkara, who finished 113 not out. But Sri Lanka again fell short of the total a strong start should have produced after winning the toss.
The tourists were headed for more than 300 when they reached 157-1 after 30 overs, but the middle and lower-order, which has been a weakness throughout the series, failed to capitalize on the good beginning.
All rounder Corey Anderson took 3-59 and senior fast bowler Tim Southee 2-50.
Both New Zealand and Sri Lanka were without their regular captains. Lahiru Thirimanne led Sri Lanka for the third time in the series in the absence of Angelo Mathews, who was ill, while Kane Williamson captained New Zealand to allow Brendon McCullum a rest.
Thirimanne won the toss and helped vindicate the decision to bat when he made 30 in a 71-run opening partnership with Dilshan.
Dilshan and Sangakkara then combined in a century partnership which spanned 18 overs and propelled Sri Lanka toward a commanding total.
But when Dilshan went, at 175-2 in the 33rd over, Sri Lanka's innings began to sputter.
Mahela Jayawardene, looking unusually out of sorts, made only 14 and Seekkuge Prasanna, batting for the first time in the series, was out for 1. Sri Lanka lost five wickets for 68 runs through the middle of the innings.
Southee came back in his second spell to dismiss Dilshan and Jayawardene, Kyle Mills removed Prasanna and Anderson took the wickets of Dinish Chandimal (5) and Thisara Perera (20).
After Thirimanne, the best efforts came from Perera whose 20 came from 12 balls and Nuwan Kulasekara who was 12 not out at the close.
Sangakkara was also restricted at times. New Zealand's bowlers extracted bounce from a relatively slow wicket, forcing Sangakkara into some improvised strokes to keep the score ticking over.
He reached his century from exactly 100 balls with 12 fours and boosted the total by taking 21 runs from the last two overs.
The Sri Lanka team was limited in its selection options Thursday by injuries. Jeevan Mendis has a knee injury and Suranga Lakmal a groin strain.
Spinner Rangana Herath returned to Sri Lanka because of a family illness and will rejoin the team next week.