Sri Lanka v New Zealand, 2nd ODI, Pallekele November 4, 2012

Sri Lanka take rain-hit one-dayer


Sri Lanka 118 for 3 (Jayawardene 43*, Dilshan 37) beat New Zealand 250 for 6 (Taylor 72, Watling 55, Malinga 2-39) by 14 runs (D/L method)
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

It had already caused a washout and a no-result. It was highly probable that the rain which has been following this series would soon force a result under the Duckworth-Lewis method. That is what happened tonight when the second ODI of the five-match series was decided in favour of the hosts 22.5 overs into Sri Lanka's chase. New Zealand, who have now lost eight of their previous nine ODIs, had reason to feel a touch aggrieved, having taken Tillakaratne Dilshan's wicket a few overs back to break a growing partnership with Mahela Jayawardene. Sri Lanka were still 133 runs adrift of the target of 251, but in the final count, they had stayed comfortably ahead of the D/L mark of 104.

It meant New Zealand's highest ODI score against Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka, achieved on the back of a late charge by Ross Taylor, was in vain. In the first ODI played under the latest revised conditions, which allow only four fielders outside the inner circle in non-Powerplay overs, New Zealand had batted the old-fashioned way, preserving wickets for a final push.

That wasn't the way Sri Lanka approached the chase. Clouds had been around since shortly after the match started under bright conditions, and rain had already caused almost an hour's delay seven overs into the chase. Jayawardene said Sri Lanka's plan had been to do enough to stay ahead of the par score.

Upul Tharanga and Kumar Sangakkara fell attempting aggressive strokes but Jayawardene and Dilshan weathered sharp spells from Trent Boult and Tim Southee to put on what turned out to be a match-winning 59-run stand. With the ball coming on better on a slow pitch after the rain interruption, both batsmen ensured Sri Lanka had enough momentum to remain ahead of the requirement. Jayawardene, especially, was in fine touch, and played attractive shots either side of the wicket.

BJ Watling and Rob Nicol had been anything but attractive earlier but had provided Taylor the base to set Sri Lanka a decent target. Had Taylor not fallen early in the 46th over on 72 off 62 to a sharp catch by Angelo Mathews - after being put down three deliveries before by Tharanga - New Zealand could have added a few more late runs. Taylor had found his range at the death after being denied in the batting Powerplay by a succession of short deliveries from Lasith Malinga.

The batting Powerplay produced only 31 runs but after that, Taylor targetted the medium-pace and good lengths of Thisara Perera and Nuwan Kulasekara to swing sixes over his favoured midwicket region. With only four men in the deep instead of five earlier, there were more gaps available and it was difficult for Jayawardene to plug areas such as deep midwicket.

New Zealand had made a slow start. Missing the injured Brendon McCullum, they managed just three boundaries in the first Powerplay. They also lost just one wicket, that of Tom Latham, but Nicol and Watling were not finding it easy to score against a varied Sri Lanka attack on a pitch dried out by a couple of sunny days following incessant rain.

Nicol and Watling were given some breathing space as Jayawardene brought on the allrounders Angelo Mathews and Thisara Perera after the first Powerplay, which yielded just 28.

The spinners, Rangana Herath and Jeevan Mendis, presented a different challenge on the helpful surface. Watling attacked the spinners after a few overs, slogging and pulling both for fours through the leg side. While Nicol edged Perera behind four runs shy of a fifty, Nicol carried on to his half-century but fell just before the start of the batting Powerplay when Jayawardene took a diving catch at midwicket.

Taylor and James Franklin could not capitalise on the Powerplay, but with the latter supporting him, Taylor ensured Sri Lanka had a substantial target. The rain, however, had other plans.

Abhishek Purohit is an editorial assistant at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on November 7, 2012, 15:26 GMT

    @WickyRoy.paklover: Its obvious when these experience players of Pakistan leave, your team will get a lot weaker sort of what like what happened to us Aussies when our top players like Gilchrist etc left and we had a transition period but now with all that talented youth playing that are emerging and playing in our first team full time along with out experience players, Australia will become a force again in Cricket :P

  • Dummy4 on November 7, 2012, 15:23 GMT

    @WickyRoy.paklover: hmm Do you know who Starc, Cummins, Hazlewood, Smith, Maxwell etc are? yeah all youth along with our older experience players so they can help and guide them so that's why experience better players like Hussey and Ponting are still around besides, most of your players are well into their 30s mid and late hehe like Hafeez, Malik, Afridi, Misbah, Younish, Razzaq, Cheema and who knows who else? far too many. Your Under-19 performance shows where Pakistan are heading so the future is clear mate. I think you meant Pakistan players will be playing into the next decade lolz :P

  • nashet on November 5, 2012, 15:15 GMT

    @joby george ok after getting rid of DL method then what? oh do you have a better method of doing it?? i think not!!

  • dave on November 5, 2012, 9:30 GMT

    Pointless game /outcome when one side scores 250 and the other needs less than half with all their wickets intact. There is no fair system when rain falls for a long period - its better to call it a draw.

  • Nilantha on November 5, 2012, 9:02 GMT

    All these people wanting rid of tharanga seem to forget how good a player he is.. He is just going through a bad patch but he will come through it.

  • Dummy4 on November 5, 2012, 7:21 GMT

    If this game played in Colombo( as it planned) we would definitely have a chance to play till the last ball because there wasn't any rain at colombo yesterday......

  • Wicky on November 5, 2012, 6:20 GMT

    @Smith robertson,would u help me sorting the issue about hussey bros? I mean aus would ever b able to get their replacements? Or they would continue playing for next decade as well.LOLZ

  • Dummy4 on November 5, 2012, 6:15 GMT

    where is youngsters like chandimal,Akila,tharindu,munaweera ? why they dont get a chance to play even in these type of less important series ?its very bore to watch these old players again and again..just after moronic decision of SLC to cancel WI & SA test series and play these type of boring ODIS with boring old players(dunnow some players also behind this decn to play their league T 20 s) ..who cares to watch same bore meaningless games actually ? it wil become less bore if youngsters given a chance atleast in this formats but thats too doesnt happen...sad days ahead for SLC

  • Anjana on November 5, 2012, 6:02 GMT

    @Joby George: This is the lame excuse (as always) given by the loosing side whenever D/L came into play. IF the D/L is not fair, there has to be a better method available, for ICC to follow (which, unfortunately, is not available). Your opinion on what would have been the end result (NZ win) had not the rain interfered, is based on your wish rather than facts. NZ were 81/1 after 22.5 overs and SL were 118/3. NZ reached 118 on the 31st over in their innings. And, you believe that SL cannot win he match from this position? Funny!!!!

  • narbavi on November 5, 2012, 5:33 GMT

    got to feel sorry for the black caps!!

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