Kiwi blushes saved by washed out game

New Zealand

Sri Lanka needed to chase 72 to win in 14 overs against New Zealand in Pallekele, but the rain arrived two overs into the chase, the Lankan score on six for nought, and ended the match as a no-result, as five overs had not been completed.

Sri Lanka needed to chase 72 (D/L) to win in 14 overs against New Zealand in Pallekele, but the rain arrived two overs into the chase, the Lankan score on six for nought, and ended the match as a no-result, as five overs had not been completed.

The Black Caps had scored 74 for seven in their 14 overs. At one stage they were 24 for five, before a long delay arrived and reduced the overs, but Tim Southee (21 not out) and Andrew Ellis (16) added some late boundaries to prevent a truly embarrassing score.

The Black Caps got off to an appalling start, the first over a maiden, before Tom Latham was out for four in the second over, playing across the line. He was bowled by Nuwan Kulasekara after hitting a boundary the previous ball.

Matters did not improve and at the end of the fourth over they only had 10 runs on the board, with Brendon McCullum also back in the dug-out. He had tried to up the scoring rate but could only sky Kulasekara high in the air for Thisara Perera to catch.

Rob Nicol had a terrible time against the Lankan pacemen and faced 12 balls for a single run before finally falling to Shaminda Eranga, trapped plumb in front in the sixth over. This left the Kiwis on 15 for three, with Ross Taylor and James Franklin needing to play inspired knocks.

Franklin's seven-ball knock was far from that though, and he could only add two runs to the score before wafting at a leg-side delivery and being caught behind by Kumar Sangakkara off Perera.

The duo combined again a few runs later with the score on 24, removing the fifth wicket as Ross Taylor feathered a nick. The rain began to fall again and the players were sent off the field, much to the Lankans' irritation.

A long delay resulted in the covers going on and off a few times, and by the time they came back on, the overs had been reduced to 14 overs per side. It made no difference to Watling though as he was soon back in the hut after scooping Akila Dananjaya to short fine leg.

The Sri Lankans were gleefully eyeing a relatively early night despite the delays, as the Black Caps were on a disastrous 34 for six after 10 overs. No batsman had reached double figures at that stage.

Andrew Ellis had other ideas and put his foot on the pedal in the 11th over, smiting Perera for 14 runs, including a four and a six, to take the score to 48 and himself to 15, easily the top score on the night.

Dananjaya quickly put an end to the unwanted revival though, as Ellis tried to sweep the spinner but could only scoop it to Lahiru Thirimanne in the deep, the score on 51 for seven.

Tim Southee then arrived and hit four boundaries off Eranga in the next over, pushing the score dangerously close to something defendable. Kulasekara took the final over and showed his death bowling experience to concede only seven.

Tillakaratne Dilshan and Dilshan Munaweera only needed to endure two overs before the heavens opened again, and the covers were brought on for a final time. This was the only T20 of the tour, and the next game will be an ODI on 1 November.

Sri Lanka: Dilshan Munaweera, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Kumar Sangakkara, Angelo Mathews, Jeevan Mendis, Lahiru Thirimanne, Thisara Perera, Nuwan Kulasekara, Akila Dananjaya, Denesh Chandimal, Shaminda Eranga

New Zealand: Rob Nicol, Brendon McCullum, Tom Latham, Ross Taylor, James Franklin, Jacob Oram, Ronnie Hira, Andrew Ellis, Tim Southee, Kyle Mills, BJ Watling

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