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Karunaratne takes four scalps as New Zealand post 274 in first ODI

Sri Lanka's Kusal Mendis (L) congratulates Kasun Rajitha on taking the wicket of New Zealand's Finn Allen. ©AFP

Auckland (AFP) - Chamika Karunaratne claimed four wickets in a career-best bowling display as New Zealand were dismissed for 274 in the first one-day international in Auckland on Saturday.

Opener Finn Allen top-scored with 51 but he was one of several Black Caps guilty of not pushing on after making a start at Eden Park, a venue where team scores in excess of 300 are commonplace.

Allen's 49-ball knock helped the hosts into a strong position with nearly half of their overs remaining.But they lost their way over the latter stages and were dismissed with three balls remaining.

Karunaratne was a key figure for the tourists, taking 4-43 off nine overs, his right-arm seamers proving difficult to play on a pitch that offered more bounce than usual.

Most of New Zealand's batsmen fell to shots that ballooned into the outfield, including all-rounder Rachin Ravindra, who departed late in the innings for 49 in his ODI debut.

Daryl Mitchell scored 47 and Glenn Phillips 39 but both fell to mistimed lofted shots.

Opener Chad Bowes, the former South Africa under-19 captain who was making his New Zealand debut, scored 14 off 15 balls.

Seamers Kasun Rajitha and Lahiru Kumara, who both played in Sri Lanka's 2-0 Test series loss to New Zealand, took two wickets each.

The tourists need a clean sweep of the three-match series to take an automatic World Cup berth, and avoid the prospect of playing in a qualifying tournament in June-July.

They are facing a New Zealand side missing several of their best players, including Kane Williamson, Devon Conway and Tim Southee, who have left to take up Indian Premier League contracts.

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