Sri Lanka's Chamika Karunaratne has avoided what looked to be a clear-cut run-out in New Zealand's ODI win, thanks to a flat battery in the light-up bails.

While chasing a 275-run target, Karunaratne was sent back to steal a second run by partner Lahiru Kumara when he appeared to be run out, but the stumps didn't light up.

Though footage seemed to show the 26-year-old behind the crease when Blair Tickner hit the stumps, but third umpire Chirs Brown gave it not out.

The Sri Lankan started to head to the sheds, but was called back despite Kiwi protests.

Speaking on the commentary, former New Zealand cricketer Craig McMillan said he couldn't understand the decision.

“Amazing what a flat battery will cost you,” McMilan said.

“There was separation between bail and stump there.

“He was walking off, he knew he was out.

“I don't understand that decision … the bails malfunctioned.

“That is out, any which way you look at it.

“Lights on, lights off – that is out. That is the wrong decision.

“We laughed about a flat battery, it's cost New Zealand a run out.”

Sri Lanka lost the match by 198 runs, with the visitors making just 76. The second ODI will be held in Christchurch, set for Tuesday, March 28.