Pallekele - Rob Nicol hit a career best half-century as New Zealand foiled dangerman Ajantha Mendis to post 174-7 against Sri Lanka in the Super Eights group one match on Thursday.
Nicol hit Mendis for three sixes in the 15th over during his 40-ball 58 as the right-hander helped New Zealand collect 94 in the final 10 overs after opting to bat at Pallekele stadium.
The 29-year-old, who in all hit four sixes and three boundaries, put on a brisk 57 for the opening wicket with Martin Guptill (38) and 42 for the second with Brendon McCullum (25) before he fell in the 16th over.
Nicol's previous T20 highest was 56 against Zimbabwe at Hamilton earlier this year.
Mendis, who took 6-8 in the first round match against Zimbabwe to register the best bowling figures in all Twenty20 internationals, was declared fit ahead of the match after recovering from a side strain.
Mendis, though, went for 48 runs for his only wicket in four overs, his last costing 24. In contrast newcomer Akila Dananjaya took 2-32.
Ross Taylor chipped in with a brisk 23.
The top two teams from each of the two groups will qualify for the semi-finals.