Sri Lanka again restricted their opponents to a below-par total at the Premadasa Stadium, despite Scott Styris' first half-century of the 2011 World Cup in today's semi-final.
Styris (57) shared an important stand of 77 for the fourth wicket with Ross Taylor to raise New Zealand hopes after they won the toss in this day-night match.
But the Black Caps, in their sixth World Cup semi-final but yet to take the next step, lost momentum at crucial stages - and their last six wickets fell for 25 runs as they were bowled out for only 217 in the 49th over.
On the same strip, England's 229 for six proved emphatically inadequate in Saturday's quarter-final - suggesting Sri Lanka would be strong favourites for another successful chase.
Ajantha Mendis was the pick of the Sri Lankan attack, claiming three for 35, while Lasith Malinga finished with three for 55.
Muttiah Muralitharan also chipped in with two wickets.