The two island nations New Zealand and Sri Lanka have produced some of the most stylish cricketers over the years and always punched above their weight in major ICC One-Day International (ODI) tournaments. 

The likes of Arjuna Ranatunga, Sanath Jayasuriya and Muttiah Muralitharan helped the Lankan Lions win the 1996 Cricket World Cup. Sri Lanka twice made it to the ICC Cricket World Cup final since then, in 2007 and 2011, but missed out after losing to Australia and India, respectively.

New Zealand, meanwhile, made it to the ICC Cricket World Cup final on the last two occasions. They were drubbed by Australia in 2015 and lost to England in 2019 by the ‘barest of margins’. They are yet to win an ODI Cricket World Cup.

New Zealand and Sri Lanka first went head-to-head in ODI cricket in the 1979 Cricket World Cup. Sri Lanka were bowled out on 189 and New Zealand won the match by nine wickets.

Overall, New Zealand and Sri Lanka have played each other in ODI cricket 99 times. New Zealand have won 49 of those matches while Sri Lanka have come on top on 41 occasions. 

A low-scoring affair in the 1996 Champions Trophy in Sharjah ended in a tie after Sri Lanka were bowled out on 169 chasing New Zealand’s 169/8. Eight matches between the teams ended with no result.

Let’s take a look at all the New Zealand vs Sri Lanka ODI records. 

New Zealand vs Sri Lanka head-to-head in ODIs


New Zealand won

Sri Lanka won


No result






New Zealand vs Sri Lanka ODI records and stats

Highest team total

The highest team total between the two teams belongs to New Zealand. Martin Guptill’s 138, Kane Williamson’s 76, and James Neesham’s quickfire 47 not out off 13 at the death propelled New Zealand to 371/7 at Mount Maunganui during a 2019 bilateral series. The Kiwis won the match by 45 runs.

Lowest team total

The lowest team total between New Zealand and Sri Lanka also belongs to the Kiwis. Chasing 262 in Auckland in the fourth match of a 2007 bilateral series, New Zealand was rattled by Chaminda Vaas (3/10), Lasith Malinga (3/14), and Muttiah Muralitharan (2/7) and folded on 73 in the 27th over.

Most runs

Former Sri Lankan captain Kumar Sangakkara scored the most runs in New Zealand vs Sri Lanka fixtures. The stylish southpaw amassed 1,568 runs from 45 innings against the Kiwis at an average of 40.20 and strike rate of 78.79. His best of 113 not out came in the seventh ODI match of the series in 2015 and helped Sri Lanka to 287/6 in 50 overs to earn a consolation 34-run victory.

Most wickets

Sri Lankan spin legend Muttiah Muralitharan, often considered to be the greatest spinner of all time along with Shane Warne, took 74 of his 534 ODI wickets against New Zealand. He took these wickets at an impressive average of 17.94 and a superb economy of 3.55 runs per over. 

Highest individual score

Former New Zealand wicket-keeper Luke Ronchi holds the record for the highest individual score by a Kiwi batter against Sri Lanka. Coming in when New Zealand was struggling at 93/5 in 20 overs, Ronchi hammered 170 off just 99 balls at Dunedin in the fifth ODI of the 2015 series. New Zealand finished on 360/5 and won the match by 108 runs.

Best bowling figures

Muttiah Muralitharan’s stellar 5/9 in 10 overs at the 2002 Sharjah Cup restricted New Zealand to 218/8 in 50 overs. His wickets included a well-set opener Chris Nevin, captain Stephen Fleming, Scott Styris, Mathew Sinclair, and Chris Harris. Sri Lanka, however, lost the match by 11 runs. 

Highest partnership

The world-record sixth-wicket unbeaten stand of 267 runs between Luke Ronchi and Grant Elliott lifted New Zealand from 93/5 to 360/5 at Dunedin in the fifth ODI of the 2015 series. Luke Ronchi scored 170 runs from 99 deliveries while Grant Elliott finished on 104 not out from 96 balls.


Photo Credit: Alamy