Persistent rain forces abandonment of Christchurch ODI
Sri Lanka now dependent on other results, as hopes of direct entry to World Cup are hit further
Unrelenting rain in Christchurch meant that the second ODI between New Zealand and Sri Lanka was washed out without even the toss taking place. While rain had been forecast for much of the day, there had nevertheless been hope of a shortened match getting underway at some point.
But as the day wore on and the rain persisted at the Hagley Oval, that prospect looked less and less likely. The cut-off time for a 20-over game, the minimum allowed for rain-curtailed ODI, had been marked for 7.02pm local time, but with the rains persisting, the umpires called the game off following the final inspection at 4.25pm.
As a result, the teams split points, with Sri Lanka's hopes of automatic World Cup qualification being hit further. The top eight teams from the Super League table get direct entry in the World Cup, but Sri Lanka are currently placed ninth after 82 points, and have just one more match remaining in the cycle - the third ODI against New Zealand in three days' time.
While a win will take them above West Indies and thus up to eighth, Sri Lanka will hope that tenth-placed South Africa win at most one out of their two upcoming ODIs against Netherlands. That will leave South Africa stuck at 88 points, and allow Sri Lanka, who will finish on 92 should they beat New Zealand, to scrape through to the World Cup.
However, New Zealand are set to end the Super League as table toppers despite the washout in Christchurch, and even if they lose to Sri Lanka in the third ODI in Hamilton. They have 165 points at the moment - ten clear of England, who are second - but will have hoped that their fringe players get enough practice ahead of the World Cup.
Also, the washout has meant they can't lose the ongoing series against Sri Lanka, as they had thumped them by 198 runs in the first ODI in Auckland on Saturday. In fact, they will finish the Super League having lost just one ODI series.