Sri Lanka v New Zealand, only Twenty20, Pallekele October 30, 2012

Rain has final say on stop-start day

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Sri Lanka 6 for 0 v New Zealand 74 for 7 (Southee 21*, Dananjaya 2-9, Kulasekara 2-13) Match abandoned
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

New Zealand's reception on their tour of Sri Lanka was cold and rainy, as the hosts' seamers left their batting in disarray on a stop-start evening marred by heavy showers that ultimately sealed the game's fate. These showers also saved the visitors from defeat; just two overs after Sri Lanka had kept New Zealand to 74 in an already truncated fixture, the rain again caused an interruption that proved terminal.

In his first match as Sri Lanka's full-time T20 captain, Angelo Mathews hoped for some assistance for his bowlers in wet conditions and he wasn't disappointed. The discipline with which his bowlers bowled in the first half of the innings set up the game for Sri Lanka.

Mathews paved the way with a maiden first up, moving the ball both ways, getting some early swing and beating Rob Nicol's early attempts to clear the in-field. Kulasekara followed suit, the only aberration early on being a smashed four through cover by opener Tom Latham. The batsman perished next ball, swinging, and missing, a straight delivery and despite wickets in hand, the innings stagnated. Only 16 runs came in the Powerplay, the lowest for New Zealand in a T20 international.

The Sri Lanka seamers maintained tight lines, bowled mostly just short of a good length, beat the bat and cramped the batsmen as they tried to make space and push on. Brendon McCullum, still not set, charged out in a failed attempt to slog Kulasekara and skied an easy catch. Even as Mathews kept one end quiet, he brought on Shaminda Eranga who trapped Nicol in front with an inswinger in his first over. Another bowling change, Thisara Perera, was a touch fortunate to have James Franklin caught down the leg side to make it 18 for 4. A 38-ball boundary drought was broken by BJ Watling but Ross Taylor's nick to the keeper in the ninth over while trying to cut Perera left the visitors in a deep hole.

A 70-minute rain interruption gave them brief respite, and a reduction in overs - to 14 a side - spurred the lower order to chase quick runs. Andrew Ellis pulled Perera for a flat six over deep midwicket before Southee tore into Eranga to lend a bit of a respectability to New Zealand's score in a truncated game. Bowling the penultimate over, Eranga doled out length and Southee used power, and some cheekiness when he shuffled across to glance one fine, to take the bowler for 16 runs. Kulasekara, though, conceded just three off the final over to ensure his team walked back on a high, with not much for their batsmen to scale down. But the rain was to deny them.

Siddhartha Talya is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • SLsupport on October 31, 2012, 17:37 GMT

    @Harmony111: Do you have something against mathews or Is it just pure jealousy?

  • miles100 on October 31, 2012, 14:44 GMT

    SL cricket overall has some minor issues to look at. If they fix those little ones, no team will ever beat SL in cricket. One talent was Aravinda De Silva. I'm not afraid to say that he is 100 times more talented than Tendulkar or Lara.Some may think I'm crazy. I say this because Tendulkar and Lara used to train 4 to 5 Hours in the nets everyday since they were young. Aravinda doesn't even train 1 hour in the nets since he was young and never played for his personal glory or batting average like Tendulakar or Lara. Aravinda had many hobbies like cars.When I was young, I used to see SL 13 year olds hitting sixes out of the grounds at Asgiriya International stadium. I have never seen a single Aussie or Indian 13 year old school boy hitting with such power and technique in an international cricket grounds. However SL players should overcome many physiologically barriers and play with a lot of pride at the international level. No team will ever beat them.

  • ifrakurshid on October 31, 2012, 11:38 GMT

    Black Caps LUCKY to avoid defeat as srilanka exertarted their weight on a rainy day to bag a certain victory even the match was reduced to 14 overs each side PUZZLED PUNTERS IN MINORITY to anguish on the result declared by the authorities left them short of quarriling with bookies who blindly place their bets on v to srilanka. strong bookies enjoyed and smile as both side un-pridictable for punters to make money.

  • colombo_SL on October 31, 2012, 8:57 GMT

    My early prediction, NZ make it into finals in the 2013 Champions trophy. They have got that talent. Good combination of hard hitters & clever fast bowlers. Sir. Richard Hadly was the first person who predicted that Sri Lanka will won 1996 WC. That time rest of the world look at him as a joker.

  • colombo_SL on October 31, 2012, 8:40 GMT

    @Bishop: I couldn't get exact meaning out of your comment due to my lack of English knowledge. I'm afraid.

  • colombo_SL on October 31, 2012, 8:34 GMT

    @Pappu_bhai; T20 rankings has a sense. But it is highly volatile due to less matches. you have read it as non sense.

  • himohan007 on October 31, 2012, 7:10 GMT

    May I know where is Sinhaya. I couldn't find him here complaining about SLC pathetic scheduling but posted at every abandoned match in CLT20. May be a CLT20 fan from SL lol

  • dummy4fb on October 31, 2012, 7:07 GMT

    May I know where is Sinhaya now. Couldn't find here complaining but posted after every abandoned match in CLT20. May be a CLT20 fan.lol

  • Bishop on October 31, 2012, 6:37 GMT

    @Colombo_SL I believe Harmony111 was being sarcastic. It is an extremely common form of humour in Aus and NZ, but it is prone to misinterpretation - especially in this sort of format where one can't see the tongue firmly implanted in the cheek!

  • Pappu_bhai on October 31, 2012, 6:34 GMT

    SL was lucky here.I dont know how every matches they are lucky enough to stay alive in these type of matches.Here as Andrew pointed out they were suppose to loose.Very Pity that NZ was not able to win here.Aside to Colombo SL:20-20 Ranking is non sense.Else SL wont become No-1.Even after becoming No-1 People dont believe SL as one of the good teams means then there is some problem with rankings.Ur Belief that SL is not bad team is wrong.Earlier they cant win outside SL and now they cant even Win in SL.People are not trying to show that SL is a bad team.They are just showing the facts with proofs.I know you know the truth but you are not ready to accept the truth.

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