Cricket offers extraordinary feats like Jimmy Neesham's six-krieg at Mt Maunganui.

That was a flashpoint in a run-sodden match starting with Martin Guptill's superb return to one-day cricket, Kane Williamson's silky assistance, Ross Taylor's power and then Sri Lanka's fiery response topped by Kusal Perera's outstanding century.

There were so many good parts to the New Zealand performance, with wicketkeeper Tim Siefert tidying up his work after an uncertain start, Neesham holding his pace and variety through his bowling spells and Ish Sodhi hanging tough through the onslaught and some cramp issues.

Questions linger after Colin Munro did not last long at the top of the order and Matt Henry got some serious early tap after his lengthy spell on the sidelines but there is another chance today when the teams line up again at Bay Oval.


After Neesham kept lathering the ball over the fence and on to the grandstand roof in an over of hit-me from Thisal Perera, it was time to take a spell.

That's where a cricket fan in these times of access to the global game can go online to check scores and footage from a multitude of matches or hit the Sky remote and run through a range of Big Bash clashes and the final test in Sydney in the series between Australia and India.

As a counter to the furious boundary hitting from Neesham and company, there was admiration for the way Cheteshwar Pujara dug in again to tie India's innings together and frustrate the hosts' search for some redemption.

At times, Pujara was brutally slow as he picked his way through the dangers but there was a beauty about that speed which lived next to Neesham's breakneck batting.

Throughout the series, Pujara has shown the defiance which has worn away the Aussies' hopes and left his more adventurous teammates to collect runs at their speed although he does allow himself that luxury after a few sessions of consolidation.

It is, after all, test cricket and there is no need for India to rush in Sydney where a draw or better gives them the series. When the chance came, though, Pujara knew where the fence was as he dealt to Marnus Labuschagne's opening over of under-achieving legspin.

After what seemed to be an inevitable Pujara ton, it was time to catch Sri Lanka's search for an unlikely victory as Perera bit into the Kiwi bowlers' plans with an outstanding century. Eventually his luck withered as Siefert claimed a skier and New Zealand rode to a 45-run victory.

Not before Sri Lanka had surprised. Their bowling was sloppy and many better teams would have folded at the thought of chasing 372 for victory but they stayed in the fight enough to guarantee another bumper holiday crowd for today's repeat joust.