New Zealand end Sri Lanka's automatic Cricket World Cup qualifying hopes

New Zealand end Sri Lanka's automatic Cricket World Cup qualifying hopes

New Zealand beat Sri Lanka by six wickets in Friday's third one-day international, ending the visitors' hopes of qualifying directly for the World Cup this year.

After bowling Sri Lanka out for 157 in Hamilton, New Zealand replied with 159 for four as the Black Caps won the ODI series 2-0, having also won both of the two Test matches.

The home win saw New Zealand top the ICC Super League table in qualifying for the ODI World Cup in India later this year.

Sri Lanka remain ninth, outside the top eight automatic qualifying spots for the World Cup, and now face the qualifying tournament to be hosted in Zimbabwe starting in June.

Will Young's 86 runs off 113 balls dug New Zealand out of trouble after Sri Lanka's seamers made life hard for the hosts early on.

His fifth-wicket partnership of 100 runs with Henry Nicholls sealed the result for New Zealand.

"We were one down when I came in. It was a bit more nerve-racking later on when we were three or four down," said man-of-the-match Young.

"One of the good things about this team is that we can bat a long way down, so I had full confidence that we would get the job done.

"It was nice to be out there at the end and knock off the runs," he said.

South Africa – currently in 10th spot with 78 points – now have an opportunity to move into the top eight should they register a 2-0 series win over the Netherlands, which starts later today in Benoni before Sunday's Pink ODI at Wanderers.

Ireland – on 68 points – have three matches against Bangladesh remaining and could also finish on 98 points should they win that series 3-0 in May, but net run-rate would then decide the higher finisher.

© Agence France-Presse