New Zealand tour of Sri Lanka, Only T20I: Sri Lanka v New Zealand at Pallekele, Oct 30, 2012

The New Zealand kit is without a sponsors logo. Just black, white and grey. Tom Latham is opening with Rob Nicol. Martin Guptill is being rested. Angelo Mathews is opening the bowling, from over the wicket.

Toss, 7.30 pm Angelo Mathews, Sri Lanka's new T20 captain, has won the toss and decided to bowl. The pitch has some grass on it and has been under covers for a while. The fast bowlers should enjoy it. Ross Taylor says he would have bowled as well.

Sachithra Senanayake and Upul Tharanga are not playing for Sri Lanka. New Zealand have benched Trent Boult, Kane Williamson, Adam Milne, and Nathan McCullum, who would have just about got to Sri Lanka after winning the Champions League with Sydney Sixers in South Africa.

7.20 pm Good news. "Covers are almost all off and both teams are on the field warming up," says Andrew Fernando from Pallekele. "Play will start at 7:45pm, and no overs have been lost."

Mevan: "I cannot understand why the two ends of the wicket are named Rikillagaskada and Hunnasgiriya when both are at least 30 km distant and at right angles to the wicket. Although I am from Kandy, it is difficult for me to know which end they refer to. Please call them the Pavilion and Press Box ends." There's no way I can type out those ends anyway!

7.05 pm Something has changed in the last five minutes. The covers are being taken off, slowly.

Yasir: "Such a pity for slow bowlers in one day cricket? The new rule only allows maximum of 4 fielders outside circle and they can not bowl two bouncers in an over!" Yasir's referring to the new fielding restrictions in ODIs, which take effect from today. I think having five fielders in the circle could work for the spinners. Fewer singles on offer; batsmen will have to take more risks to score.

Gyan: "Why is the ICC trying to marginalise spinners? 1st 2 new balls, now 2 bouncers and only 4 fielders outside the circle; I don't see kids queuing up to bowl spin at the coaching camps."

James: "In response to Mark Kidger's comment, I fear the worst, given the way marketing people seem to work in cricket at the moment. Andrew Strauss (an intelligent cricketer) has gone into admin, and it would be great if two of the most eloquent and intelligent of modern cricketers (Dravid and Sanga) could join him in due course and have real influence over tour programmes."

7.00 pm Not much has changed in ten minutes. Rain falling, covers covering, lots of people twiddling thumbs. I'm not, because otherwise you wouldn't be reading this.

You should read this. It will help you understand why an umpire will not call a second bouncer in an over a wide anymore, in one-day internationals that is.

6.50 pm Spoke to soon about the rain not being heavy. It's pelting in Pallekele. The entire ground is covered. Buckle up for a significant delay.

Mark Kidger: "These two teams have just played each other in the World T20, then their franchise/District representatives played each other in the Champions League T20 and now we have... a T20! Please don't let T20 go down the same destructive slope of over-exposure as one-day cricket."

Sri Lanka are taking small steps towards cricket without Mahela and Kumar by appointing Angelo Mathews as their T20 captain for a year. Mathews, who bats and bowls, and fields quite exceptionally, isn't worrying about his workload.

6.40 pm I'm sorry to have to bring you news that's not very good. It's drizzling in Pallekele and the covers have been brought on. The whole field is bring protected. The stadium is by and large empty, reports Andrew Fernando.

Once the rain clears, and it's not heavy at the moment, we could see two promising 20-year-olds in action for New Zealand. This tour is a chance for Tom Latham and Adam Milne to grow.

6.15 pm Good evening and welcome to ESPNcricinfo's ball-by-ball coverage of New Zealand's tour of Sri Lanka, which begins with a Twenty20 in Pallekele. The weather has been a concern in the lead up to this game, and both teams couldn't practice yesterday because of rain. Today has been cloudy but it has also been dry for the most part. Let's hope it stays that way. The covers came off a few minutes ago in preparation for the toss.

The last time New Zealand played Sri Lanka in a T20 was not too long ago. The teams contested a thrilling tie in Pallekele during the World Twenty20, and Sri Lanka clinched the one-over eliminator. Things have changed since then for the hosts. They have a new captain and are resting Mahela Jayawardene and Lasith Malinga from this game. Andrew Fernando, who will be covering the series for us, has more in his preview.


Mathews to Nicol, no run, good length just outside off stump, the batsman moves forward and defends on the off side


Mathews to Nicol, no run, Nicol steps down the pitch and tries to smash the ball down the ground, Mathews gets the ball to move away and beat the bat


Mathews to Nicol, no run, good length and straight, Nicol stays back and blocks


Mathews to Nicol, no run, steps out of his crease and defends on the off side, the length isn't right for the big shot


Mathews to Nicol, no run, tries to play the ball on the leg side but ends up pushing towards mid-off


Mathews to Nicol, no run, another charge and a hoick connects with nothing, the length was shorter and the away movement beat the bat. A maiden for captain Mathews

End of over 1 (maiden) New Zealand 0/0 (RR: 0.00)

    • RJ Nicol 0 (6b)
    • TWM Latham 0 (0b)
    • AD Mathews 1-1-0-0

James: "There are many great mysteries in the universe. Black holes, and why Baz doesn't open for NZ in T20 are just two of them."

Nuwan Kulasekara, from over the wicket, with two slips.


Kulasekara to Latham, no run, Latham is rooted to his crease as the ball seams back into him and bounces high enough to hit him in the midsection


Kulasekara to Latham, no run, Latham chases this one, which moves away from the left-hander, and is beaten


Kulasekara to Latham, no run, played from the crease towards midwicket


Kulasekara to Latham, FOUR, steps out of his crease and creates room to slap the good length ball through cover, didn't hit it perfectly but connected well enough


Kulasekara to Latham, OUT, bowled him! Latham swung across the line and missed. Kulasekara's length as good and the ball pitched around middle and off and went straight on

TWM Latham b Kulasekara 4 (6m 5b 1x4 0x6) SR: 80.00

Brendon McCullum is in at No. 3.


Kulasekara to McCullum, 1 leg bye, Kulasekara appeals after hitting the pads with an inswinger but the umpire says not out. McCullum might have got outside the line of off stump

7.55 pm It's drizzling again but the umpires have decided to continue for the moment.

End of over 2 (5 runs) New Zealand 5/1 (RR: 2.50)

    • BB McCullum 0 (1b)
    • RJ Nicol 0 (6b)
    • KMDN Kulasekara 1-0-4-1
    • AD Mathews 1-1-0-0

Mathews to McCullum, no run, good length just outside off, McCullum stays in his crease and opens the face to play towards point


Mathews to McCullum, no run, McCullum shapes as though he's going to step out, but then he goes back and defends a good length ball


Mathews to McCullum, no run, this time he charges and swings across the line, Mathews shortens his length and beats the bat with one that seams away off the pitch


Mathews to McCullum, no run, fuller ball outside off stump, McCullum covers his off stump and shoulders arms


Mathews to McCullum, no run, there's an appeal for caught behind but it's been turned down. McCullum was very early on the pull because the ball was a slower one and the ball went under his glove. It was very close to the glove and might have brushed the underside of it


Mathews to McCullum, 1 run, dropped close on the off side for a quick single. A direct hit from Chandimal at cover would have dismissed Nicol

End of over 3 (1 run) New Zealand 6/1 (RR: 2.00)

    • BB McCullum 1 (7b)
    • RJ Nicol 0 (6b)
    • AD Mathews 2-1-1-0
    • KMDN Kulasekara 1-0-4-1

Kulasekara to McCullum, 1 wide, a full ball swings down leg side


Kulasekara to McCullum, 1 leg bye, payed off the pads towards square


Kulasekara to Nicol, 1 wide, that's a harsh call for wide, Nicol moved a long way across his stumps to an inswinger and missed, the ball was almost on top of leg stump


Kulasekara to Nicol, no run, Nicol was beaten by an inswinger the previous ball and this time it's the outswinger, he prods at it from his crease and misses


Kulasekara to Nicol, 1 leg bye, tries to work the ball off his hips and makes no contact with the bat, another inswinger


Kulasekara to McCullum, no run, this time it's the one that holds its line outside off and it beats McCullum


Kulasekara to McCullum, OUT, McCullum charges and slogs, trying to blast the ball seemingly anywhere. He succeeds in skiing it, really high. It's a swirler and Thisara Perera gets under it and judges it well. He ran in from mid-on and took it very close to the bowling crease, but on the off side

BB McCullum c Perera b Kulasekara 1 (11m 10b 0x4 0x6) SR: 10.00


Kulasekara to Nicol, no run, beaten outside the off stump

End of over 4 (4 runs) New Zealand 10/2 (RR: 2.50)

    • RJ Nicol 0 (9b)
    • LRPL Taylor 0 (0b)
    • KMDN Kulasekara 2-0-6-2
    • AD Mathews 2-1-1-0

Mathews to Taylor, 1 run, Taylor leans across his stumps and glances towards fine leg

Nicol has been scoreless for nine balls.


Mathews to Nicol, no run, good length and straight, Nicol blocks towards Mathews on the front foot


Mathews to Nicol, 1 run, Nicol finally gets off the mark by stepping out of the crease and swatting awkwardly towards mid-on, the ball falls just short of Dananjaya. Nicol was taking the single quite slowly and a direct hit might have had him in strife


Mathews to Taylor, no run, Taylor gets beaten outside off stump as he pushes forward to defend


Mathews to Taylor, no run, a good length ball angles into the right hander and hits Taylor on the pad just outside off


Mathews to Taylor, 1 run, good length and straight, Taylor moves across his stumps and gets a single towards point

End of over 5 (3 runs) New Zealand 13/2 (RR: 2.60)

    • LRPL Taylor 2 (4b)
    • RJ Nicol 1 (11b)
    • AD Mathews 3-1-4-0
    • KMDN Kulasekara 2-0-6-2

Odedravijay: "Mathews is captain now, so he can open with ball and bat. That's what I used to do in our street cricket."

Shaminda Eranga from over the wicket.


Eranga to Taylor, 1 wide, that's a wide down leg side

Vivek: "Will Angelo Matthews open as well? There's a lot of talk among the kids these days about Md Hafeez that he's living the ultimate kids' dream of "opening the bowling and batting while being the captain."


Eranga to Taylor, no run, good length and straight, Taylor defends from his crease


Eranga to Taylor, 1 run, good length and straight once again, Taylor moves across his crease, pushes towards midwicket and runs


Eranga to Nicol, OUT, that's plumb lbw and after a while the umpire raises his finger! The ball was full and hit Nicol low on the pad as he swung across the line. That would have hit middle stump, I think.

RJ Nicol lbw b Eranga 1 (27m 12b 0x4 0x6) SR: 8.33

James Franklin is the new batsman.


Eranga to Franklin, no run, good length, pitching around off stump and slanting away from the left-hander, Franklin lets it go


Eranga to Franklin, no run, Franklin tries to push on the off side but gets an inside edge on to the back pad


Eranga to Franklin, 1 run, pushed off the front foot and once the ball passes the bowler Franklin runs a single to mid-off

End of over 6 (3 runs) New Zealand 16/3 (RR: 2.66)

    • JEC Franklin 1 (3b)
    • LRPL Taylor 3 (6b)
    • RMS Eranga 1-0-3-1
    • AD Mathews 3-1-4-0

Gav: "Before you were mutineered upon, Odedravijay?"

Perera from over the wicket.


Perera to Franklin, no run, Franklin gets squared up by a good length ball and gets an outside edge on the off side


Perera to Franklin, no run, Franklin stays back and defends towards point


Perera to Franklin, 1 run, a bit too straight and Franklin glances the ball towards deep backward square leg for a single


Perera to Taylor, 1 run, dropped close on the off side for a single


Perera to Franklin, OUT, caught down the leg side! A rather ordinary delivery outside leg stump, Franklin tried to whip it, he only managed a thick nick, though, and Sangakkara anticipated it well and moved to his right to take the catch. It would have been wide had Franklin let it go

JEC Franklin c †Sangakkara b Perera 2 (7m 7b 0x4 0x6) SR: 28.57


Perera to Watling, 1 wide, that's not that wide outside off stump but it's been called


Perera to Watling, 1 run, played towards third man for one more

End of over 7 (4 runs) New Zealand 20/4 (RR: 2.85)

    • BJ Watling 1 (1b)
    • LRPL Taylor 4 (7b)
    • NLTC Perera 1-0-4-1
    • RMS Eranga 1-0-3-1

Eranga to Watling, no run, pitches on a length outside off and seams it away from the right-hander, Watling fishes and misses


Eranga to Watling, no run, fuller and straighter, Watling gets behind the line and defends

Vignesh: "NZ always fail to perform in normal matches. They switch their batteries onn for the big tournaments, but underpeform in these type of matches. Come on NZ make it interesting!!!


Eranga to Watling, no run, good length on off stump, defended on the off side

Odedravijay: "Nope Gav I used to own the only cricket kit."


Eranga to Watling, no run, defended from the crease on the off side


Eranga to Watling, FOUR, a full ball with width outside off stump, Watling reaches for the half volley and drives to the cover boundary


Eranga to Watling, no run, good length and straight, defended towards the bowler

"Tom Latham shows his class as the only top order batsman to hit a boundary! NZ racing to the lowest total in T20 history!! Tough being a kiwi these days." Rhys sent that in before Watling's four.

End of over 8 (4 runs) New Zealand 24/4 (RR: 3.00)

    • BJ Watling 5 (7b 1x4)
    • LRPL Taylor 4 (7b)
    • RMS Eranga 2-0-7-1
    • NLTC Perera 1-0-4-1

Perera to Taylor, no run, short of a length outside off, Taylor cuts but doesn't beat Dilshan at point


Perera to Taylor, no run, good length on off stump, defended on the off side


Perera to Taylor, OUT, caught behind! A faint edge through to Sanga after Taylor went back to cut a short ball through point. It's all quite tame from New Zealand at the moment, folding without a fight

LRPL Taylor c †Sangakkara b Perera 4 (24m 10b 0x4 0x6) SR: 40.00

Andrew Ellis is the new batsman.


Perera to Ellis, no run, good length outside off, left alone by the batsman

9.40 pm Matt Ryan: "Your man, Fernando is doing an admirable job. Can he confirm if there is something in the air this night? Whether the stars are bright? No doubt he can hear the drums, too."

And on cue, Andrew Fernando tells me that play will resume at 9.45 pm. It's 14 overs a side.

9.30 pm The Sri Lankan players are warming up as the drying process continues on the outfield. If there's no more rain we should have a resumption soon. We don't have a start time yet but the cut off time for a five-over-a-side game is 11pm.

9.20 pm Bad news, the rain has resumed, it's light but the covers are coming back on. Or not, they have stopped coming back on. It's all quite stop-start at the moment.

8.55 pm The rain has stopped and the groundsmen are active, says Andrew Fernando from Pallekele.

8.30 pm It's drizzling once again in Pallekele. It had started before the previous ball and the umpires decided it was heavy enough to ask for the covers to be brought on. So there will be a break in play.

The conditions have been difficult for batting and Sri Lanka's seam bowlers have used them well. They haven't tried to do much at all, just keep the ball on good lines and lengths and let the pitch do the rest. New Zealand have had no answers.

"Absolutely pelting down now, the covers are still coming on," says Andrew Fernando from Pallekele. "This one is going to be a long delay."

Rakesh: "NZ should not be struggling in such conditions as they should be used to such conditions considering the weather in NZ. Wet conditions, pitches with moisture, etc,etc."

Anees: "I think NZ will be very happy at moment, just like a kid who is going to be punished by the teacher, but bell rings for school time off."


Perera to Ellis, 1 run, full ball outside off, Ellis drives to cover for a single

Four bowlers can bowl a max of three overs. The Powerplay for SL's chase will last only four overs.


Perera to Watling, 3 runs, width offered outside off stump, Watling reaches out and drives towards the boundary, where a diving save stops the four

End of over 9 (4 runs) New Zealand 28/5 (RR: 3.11)

    • BJ Watling 8 (8b 1x4)
    • AM Ellis 1 (2b)
    • NLTC Perera 2-0-8-2
    • RMS Eranga 2-0-7-1

Akila Dananjaya is the first spinner on show ... from over the wicket.


Dananjaya to Watling, no run, Watling moves across and gets hit on the pad


Dananjaya to Watling, no run, tried to cut but made no contact


Dananjaya to Watling, OUT, caught at short fine leg! Watling tried to sweep and got a top edge that lobbed gently to Chandimal, New Zealand continue to slide after the break. Dananjaya got that ball to turn quite a bit in this damp conditions

BJ Watling c Chandimal b Dananjaya 8 (11m 11b 1x4 0x6) SR: 72.72


Dananjaya to Oram, FOUR, Oram's first ball is down leg side and he manages to dab it past the keeper for a boundary


Dananjaya to Oram, 1 run, defends from the crease towards the off side for a single


Dananjaya to Ellis, 1 run, steps out and towards the off side to push through midwicket

End of over 10 (6 runs) New Zealand 34/6 (RR: 3.40)

    • AM Ellis 2 (3b)
    • JDP Oram 5 (2b 1x4)
    • A Dananjaya 1-0-6-1
    • NLTC Perera 2-0-8-2

Perera to Ellis, no run, good length on off stump, defended towards point


Perera to Ellis, 2 runs, steps towards leg and swings, gets a bottom edge towards fine leg


Perera to Ellis, FOUR, width offered outside off stump and Ellis cuts hard and beats the fielder on the third man bounary


Perera to Ellis, 1 run, length ball on off sump, steered from the crease towards third man


Perera to Oram, 1 run, driven from the crease through cover point for one more


Perera to Ellis, SIX, shot! Ellis stands in his crease and tees off, pulling a short ball from Perera over the midwicket boundary. Hit that hard, he did. The innings' only six

End of over 11 (14 runs) New Zealand 48/6 (RR: 4.36)

    • AM Ellis 15 (8b 1x4 1x6)
    • JDP Oram 6 (3b 1x4)
    • NLTC Perera 3-0-22-2
    • A Dananjaya 1-0-6-1

Dananjaya to Oram, 1 run, Oram steps out of his crease, makes room and drives straight past the bowler


Dananjaya to Ellis, 1 run, Ellis hits the ball hard towards long on, New Zealand finally reach 50


Dananjaya to Oram, 1 run, Oram makes room again and swats the ball towards long off


Dananjaya to Ellis, OUT, caught at deep midwicket! Ellis tries to clear the boundary once again but this time his slog is mis-timed. Thirimanne runs in from the boundary and takes the catch

AM Ellis c Thirimanne b Dananjaya 16 (12m 10b 1x4 1x6) SR: 160.00

"@Ellis: Whaddaplayaaa!!!" said Anupa after that six and before the wicket.


Dananjaya to Oram, no run, played to short third man


Dananjaya to Oram, no run, pushed back to the bowler from the crease

James: "Glory be! a New Zealand batsman in double figures!"

End of over 12 (3 runs) New Zealand 51/7 (RR: 4.25)

    • JDP Oram 8 (7b 1x4)
    • TG Southee 0 (0b)
    • A Dananjaya 2-0-9-2
    • NLTC Perera 3-0-22-2

Eranga to Southee, no run, a low full toss from Eranga, which Southee hits to midwicket


Eranga to Southee, FOUR, he's placed that well, Southee made a bit of room and lofted the short of a length ball over extra cover and to the boundary


Eranga to Southee, FOUR, he's placed this well too, but unintentionally. Southee was looking to slog over midwicket but top edged the good length ball to the third man boundary


Eranga to Southee, no run, a full toss and Southee misses the pull, he gets hit on the thigh


Eranga to Southee, FOUR, clever shot, Southee moves right across his stumps and paddles the ball from well outside off stump between the keeper and short fine leg


Eranga to Southee, FOUR, a fourth boundary in the over! Southee pulls a full toss into the gap between long on and deep midwicket

End of over 13 (16 runs) New Zealand 67/7 (RR: 5.15)

    • TG Southee 16 (6b 4x4)
    • JDP Oram 8 (7b 1x4)
    • RMS Eranga 3-0-23-1
    • A Dananjaya 2-0-9-2

Kulasekara will bowl the final over.


Kulasekara to Oram, 1 run, Oram tries to smash through the leg side but misses and is hit on the pad


Kulasekara to Southee, no run, a full ball just inside the tram line outside off stump, Southee knows the ball well because he bowls it too. He had moved too far towards leg to make contact


Kulasekara to Southee, 2 runs, hit towards long on for two more


Kulasekara to Southee, 1 run, full and in the blockhole outside off, Southee moves towards the ball and hits to long on once again


Kulasekara to Oram, 1 run, a full toss, Oram's slog across the line is limp and the ball lobs towards cover


Kulasekara to Southee, 2 runs, Southee moves across his stumps and laps the ball towards short fine leg, where Chandimal picks up and hits the stumps direct at the batsman's end. Oram is safe and the batsmen run an overthrow for the ricochet

10 pm New Zealand finish with 74 for 7 in 14 overs, after an innings that was interrupted by rain. Sri Lanka's target will be revised according to the D/L method and I'll have that information for you shortly.

End of over 14 (7 runs) New Zealand 74/7

    • TG Southee 21 (10b 4x4)
    • JDP Oram 10 (9b 1x4)
    • KMDN Kulasekara 3-0-13-2
    • RMS Eranga 3-0-23-1





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