MOUNT MAUNGANUI: Sri Lanka won the toss and elected to bowl in the first Twenty20 match against New Zealand in Mount Maunganui on Thursday.
The two-match series marks the start of the build-up for both teams towards the World Twenty20 in India in March.
Sri Lanka are the reigning World Twenty20 champions and need to win just one match against New Zealand to retain their number one ranking.
Dinesh Chandimal takes over as acting captain while Lasith Malinga remains sidelined by injury, and Kane Williamson skippers New Zealand skipper in the absence of Brendon McCullum.
Williamson said he would have batted first had he won the toss. The wicket "may get a bit slower which will help our bowlers in the second innings", he said.
New Zealand will be without strike bowler Tim Southee who is nursing a bruised heel, while McCullum has finished his involvement with the shortest form of the game before retiring from all international cricket next month.
However, Corey Anderson and Grant Elliott return from the injuries that sidelined them from the recent Test and one-day series, both won by New Zealand.
New Zealand: Martin Guptill, Kane Williamson (captain), Colin Munro, Ross Taylor, Corey Anderson, Grant Elliott, Luke Ronchi, Matt Henry, Ish Sodhi, Mitchell McClenaghan, Trent Boult
Sri Lanka: Tillakaratne Dilshan, Danushka Gunathilaka, Shehan Jayasuriya, Dinesh Chandimal (captain), Angelo Mathews, Milinda Siriwardana, Chamara Kapugedera, Thisara Perera, Nuwan Kulasekara, Suranga Lakmal, Jeffrey Vandersay.