Sri Lanka v New Zealand, 5th ODI, Hambantota November 12, 2012

Sri Lanka 3, Rain 2, New Zealand 0


28.3 overs Sri Lanka 123 for 8 (Tharanga 60, Southee 3-18) v New Zealand - Match abandoned
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Rain robbed New Zealand's best chance of sneaking in a win in a one-sided series, after they restricted Sri Lanka to 123 for 8 in Hambantota. The match began under sunny skies, but little over two hours after the start, rain forced the players off the field and they remained indoors till half past eight, when another downpour brought a soggy end to an ill-timed series. All six matches on tour were affected by rain, with Sri Lanka taking the one-dayers 3-0.

While Sri Lanka were the superior side in the context of the series, New Zealand would have every reason to feel let down by the weather in this game. For a change they found a way to express themselves and it came via their seamers to put the hosts under early pressure. After opting to bowl first in conditions expected to suit the fast bowlers, Tim Southee, Adam Milne and Trent Boult utilised the swing to their advantage to nip out early wickets. Upul Tharanga played the lone hand as the rest failed to stick around to build partnerships.

It all started with Southee's peach which swung away late and hit the off stump before Dinesh Chandimal could get his bat down. That was enough to convince the bowlers that the fuller length was the order of the day. The wicketkeeper and the slips had to stay alert, as BJ Watling found out when he failed to hang on to a touch chance off Lahiru Thirimanne when he was on 6. Southee struck again when he removed Thirimanne by inducing an outside edge, giving Watling a chance to make amends.

It was the short delivery that claimed Angelo Mathews, who miscued a pull off Boult to Southee at fine leg. Even the experienced Kumar Sangakkara found the going tough against the most inexperienced of the seam trio, Milne, and edged to the keeper. It was a dismissal that would have made the bowling coach Shane Bond proud. The ball landed on middle and nipped away, squaring up the left-hander. Milne posed questions to the other left-hand batsman Tharanga as well, and looked like he deserved more than one wicket as the halfway stage.

Mahela Jayawardene and Tharanga showed some initiative in a stand of 47, stepping out to the spin of Nathan McCullum when the seamers were getting a breather. McCullum, though, had the last laugh when he took aim at the bowler's end and knocked the stumps with Jayawardene short of his ground. A wild slash by Jeevan Mendis off Andrew Ellis saw him walk back for a fourth-ball duck, leaving Sri Lanka at 92 for 6 in the 24th over.

Tharanga reached his fifty, and when he edged Southee to Watling on 60, the rain arrived. New Zealand didn't have the pleasure of bowling Sri Lanka out but they went back with some positives, having run Sri Lanka close in at least two matches. With two Tests to play, at different venues, one would feel the teams haven't seen the last of the rain, with the monsoon in full swing.

Kanishkaa Balachandran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • associate cricket fan on November 14, 2012, 2:37 GMT

    @gnanzcupid. its not possible. NZ have a weekness in facing left arm spin. that is the reason why they lost to bangladesh 4-0. they will surely have a tough time facing the left arm spinner herath.

  • Robert on November 13, 2012, 13:57 GMT

    BS series, the rain has robbed NZ numerous times in this series, most of all in this latest game. You're luckier then you think SL and hopefully NZ get up in these tests and take the win. Should be a good series if the rain can actually let them get some play in..

  • Dummy4 on November 13, 2012, 11:45 GMT

    I personally think NZ will struggle in the test series too. this is NZ A' for me. where is the replacement for N. Astle, S. Fleming, M.Richardson, S. Bond ? SL will roll'em up inside fourth day. another player NZ missing Lou Vincent. LIONS ROAR !!!

  • gnanavelu on November 13, 2012, 11:40 GMT

    @ranga_s Nz team has got a very good scent of the Sub continent wickets.They have some world class bowlers and batsmen.Dont write the NZ team off.They will surely win a test atleast,provided it doesn't rain. Any lankan fans ready to challenge me? If SANGA and JAYA dont play,SL will get white-washed. May be even to Bangladesh and Zimbabwe at home.

  • gnanavelu on November 13, 2012, 11:35 GMT

    For those who say Malinga and kula as greats,they both will be remembered for generations as men whose techniques got flopped and exposed against INDIAN LEGENDS KOHLI N DHONI

  • gnanavelu on November 13, 2012, 11:32 GMT

    To all my Lankan fans who claim SL is a SUPER team, dont deny SL has forgotten to win series victories more after the retirement of MURALI,the one whom i adore. If at all SL wins it will be due to rain or Luck.After MURALI it has been a tales of mediocre men with the bat and ball. Nothing has been great or to be proud of after him but for SANGA AND JAYA.

  • gnanavelu on November 13, 2012, 11:26 GMT

    Feeling bad for all the "heavy weight,4 time runner up team"s supporters. Barring Sanga and Jaya, ur so called team has nothing in it. If they both feature in a match SL can never win ny match. Wonder how this Team is gonna survive after the retirement of these 2 GREATS.Always the current bunch in SL team will be remembered as the team who lose ALWAYS to INDIA and even other TOP RANKED TEAMS even at HOME

  • dave on November 13, 2012, 10:03 GMT

    The toss is even more important than the rain. Clearly this series cannot be taken seriously and any assessment of team or player performance is pointless.

  • sachit on November 13, 2012, 5:30 GMT

    we should not laugh at gnanzcupids logic ,for example in the 4th ODI AF Milne has a S/R of 400.00 when the innings ended so if the innings had gone for the remaining 18 overs he would have had strike for 54 balls at 400 S/R he would have scored another 216 runs which would have made it impossible for SL. I assume the similar logic applies for the other games as well. ̶h̶a̶h̶a̶h̶a̶

  • Marcus on November 13, 2012, 5:05 GMT


    0-0 would not remotely be a fair reflection of this series. SL have been superior in pretty much every facet of play, and there is nothing in NZ's recent performances with the bat to suggest that they would have successfully chased this target.

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