5.15pm: The match has been called off. The cut off time was 8pm but given the hopelessness of the rain situation in Pallekele, the officials have decided to call it off earlier in the evening. So we've had two washouts already. The tour is yet to begin, for all practical purposes. Hoping for better luck in Colombo, which will host the second game on Sunday.
Thanks for your company today, though we didn't even have a toss. See you on Sunday. Cheers!
5pm: Commentator Roshan Abeysinghe says: '"There is still a thin drizzle at Pallekele and the Chances are we may not have cricket here at all today."
4.45: No improvements. Still drizzle and gloom. I'm just going to get some other work done. Updates will follow.
3.45: Still drizzling, no signs of relent. Just heard that the cut-off time is 8pm!
My good friend Shyam Impett, who goes by the name Biker Monster among others (which I'm not at liberty to mention!), is frustrated: "The age old question continues then.. Why? Why would SLC schedule this series knowing the weather pattern in SL? I feel bad for the teams, the media and coverage teams coming all this way for nothing.."
Kiwi Tim: "I live on the south coast, not far from Matara, the hometown of The Master Blaster. It has rained here heavily for the last few days. I don't think anywhere is safe at the moment!"
3.15: The rain has picked up again. Not sure yet what the cut-off time is. Will let you know as and when.
Kevin: "Any chance of converting this into a water polo match?" If we can get the players out of the hotel.
Oli writes in from a different time zone: "Was hoping for a classic game of cricket where I could watch my NZ try their hardest to win along side keeping me awake to do my History assignment. Coffee it is I am afraid."
3pm: No improvements I'm afraid. We have to wait. The covers are still on.
D Fernando is not so optimistic about the rest of the series: "I am living in Colombo for 45 years. But seeing the rains this October, it's more than 90% probability that there will be all game wash out."
Suni Perera: "They know it rains heavy this time of year in the region yet bypass Hambantota and Dambulla, perfect playing facilities where the rain is less likely yet hardly consider the option for the opening games at least." Hambantota will host the 4th and 5th games, and Dambulla, well, is under neglect. That is another story.
2.30pm: We should have started by now, but it's not to be. Andrew says that the rain has eased slightly, but it's less gloomy out there. Still hours away from any cricket though.
While we wait (and it's going to be a long one it seems), you may read the preview and what Ross Taylor has to say about the new playing conditions in ODIs.
2pm: So the toss has been delayed. The teams are probably still at the hotel. Damp scenes in Pallekele.
Darshan: "Teams can't be in the hotel because the ground is in the middle of nowhere and they'll take hours to get to the ground."
For starters, this is not Hambantota, which is in the middle of nowhere. The teams usually stay at Amaya Hills and it's not so far that it will take hours, even in poor weather.
Azmeer: "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." For the sake of pronunciation, why not?
1.45pm: Good day everyone and welcome to the coverage of the first ODI in Pallekele...if we can squeeze in a game that is. Sorry to begin with the deflating news that it has been raining all day. Not that we didn't see it coming. "It's been raining cats and dogs, rather cattles and horses", says our man at the ground Andrew Fernando.
The toss is supposed to happen at 2pm and it doesn't look like it is going to happen anytime soon. The opening T20 itself looked a non-starter and in the end only 16 overs were possible.