The New Zealand World Cup preparation juggernaut rolled on today with a 120-run win in the sixth one-day international against Sri Lanka in Dunedin.

The victory meant they have won the series, leading 4-1 with a match to play on Thursday. It is their third series win in four, and the fifth in 10 series since Brendon McCullum was appointed captain in December 2012; there have also been two draws and three losses.

If they win the final game of the series and England lose their next match to India in Australia, New Zealand rise to fifth in the world rankings.

The Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor batting magic returned with a 117-run third wicket partnership, Corey Anderson blossomed his all-rounder skills with 40 runs and four wickets for 52, there was bowling progress from Trent Boult with one for 31 from eight overs and Kyle Mills, Daniel Vettori and McCullum generated lightning run outs.

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Kumar Sangakkara offered the most resistance with 81 from 66 balls, his 93rd ODI half-century, but Sri Lanka were beset by pressure from the outset after New Zealand decided to bat and accumulated 315 for eight.

Williamson and Taylor made their sixth century partnership in ODIs advancing their team from 59 for two in the 14th over to 176 for three in the 35th. The efficiency and crispness of the stroke-making made the stand feel like a fait accompli. The regular clonk of the sweet spot must be demoralising for bowlers.

The pair gradually accelerated before cameos from Anderson (40 off 28), Luke Ronchi (13 off 13) and Grant Elliott (21 off 14). Dhammika Prasad was the best in a tidier overall bowling display, taking two for 59.

Williamson reached 97 off 95 balls. He succumbed through a miscommunication with Taylor after paddle-sweeping through backward square leg. Williamson assumed two runs were on; Taylor ball-watched in expectation of a single. It's the third time either of the batsmen has run the other out in an ODI.

Taylor's blip of 34, 3, 8 and 20 this series activated a red alert among fans. However, his numbers suggested it was no time to fret. The longest spell Taylor has endured without reaching 40 in ODIs has been seven matches, once from April to December 2007 and again from February to December 2009.

He didn't disappoint and accumulated at will in a chanceless 96 before being trapped lbw to Dilshan in the 47th over. He appeared satisfied to work singles but, when bad balls came, he lay in wait; his preference was savaging them between backward point and cover.

However, the match was beset by the odd spot of turbulence. A dysfunctional Sky Sport camera meant the Decision Review System failed for 13 overs of the New Zealand innings, denying the visitors the opportunity for a Martin Guptill lbw shout in the fourth over. If a review had been successful he would have been dismissed for six rather than 28.

Bowler Dhammika Prasad gestured to take the option but the Sri Lankans were told they couldn't access the technology.

One camera was out of use at the southern end of the ground because of cabling issues. It only affected lbw reviews but raised questions as to whether the DRS should have been disabled for the entire match out of fairness to both teams.

Guptill also received the benefit of the doubt on 18 at 43 for one. Kumar Sangakkara took a low take which appeared to have glove rather than grass underneath it, but television match official Rod Tucker sided in favour of the opener.

In fairness Tucker applied the same logic when Taylor caught Mahela Jayawardene on four and he was subsequently given a reprieve.

Vettori's selection saw him break the record for New Zealand ODI caps, appearing in his 280th match two days before his 36th birthday. He's overtaken Stephen Fleming. Vettori has also played four ODIs for the World XI. New Zealand Cricket presented him with a framed photo in recognition.

Mills returned to the line-up after a spell out with a groin injury, taking none for 29 from six overs.


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