Blackcaps vs Sri Lanka: Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls unleash for ODI centuries in Nelson

Blackcaps batting stars Ross Taylor and Henry Nicholls have blazed centuries to help the national team to a huge one-day score against Sri Lanka at Nelson's Saxton Oval.

Off to a slow start, with both openers dismissed by the sixth over, New Zealand rebuilt around Taylor and skipper Kane Williamson initially, before Nicholls brought the innings home strongly over the final overs, finishing with 364/4 over 50 overs.

Taylor was eventually dismissed for 137 off 131 balls, including four sixes, for his 20th ODI ton - the most by a New Zealand batsman. He took full toll on Sri Lanakan captain Lasith Malinga near the end of his innings, before holing out on the midwicket boundary in the 47th over.

Live - Blackcaps vs Sri Lanka, Third ODI

The knock continued his fine run of scores in this format of the game - he recorded his sixth straight half-century en route to triple figures.

Since the 2015 World Cup, only Indian star Virat Kohli (83.97) has had a better one-day average than Taylor (69.72).

"I was hitting the ball alright and it's nice to get three figures," he said afterwards.

"I'm just playing to the situation and the conditions. You have to give yourself a bit of time and you can catch up later.

"It doesn't always come off, but it's nice when it does. It's nice to get to 20 [centuries], I would have taken that at the start of my career."

Once Taylor departed, Nicholls was unshackled from his support role and brought up his first ODI century two overs later, fittingly, with another six off Malinga. He plundered the late bowlers to remain unbeaten on 124 off 80 balls, featuring 12 fours and three sixes.

"It was nice to get a big total on the board, one that we can hopefully defend," said Nicholls afterwards. "Ross batted really well, and it was good to bat with him and on that stand."

Malinga had rocked New Zealand early, removing both Martin Guptill and Colin Munro early, and eventually ending Taylor's dominance.

But he left himself the daunting task of bowling five straight overs at the end of the innings, when the batsmen were rolling, and narrowly avoided bringing up his own century of runs conceded off 10 overs.