Rain costs BlackCaps win
Tue, 13 Nov 2012 7:00a.m.
Rain has brought an appropriate end to the one-day cricket series between New Zealand and Sri Lanka after the fifth match was washed out in Hambantota.
The BlackCaps lose the series 3-0 and were left cursing their luck again after forging a strong position against the hosts before the weather intervened.
After winning the toss under sunny skies, New Zealand reduced the hosts to 123-8 from 28.3 overs despite a defiant 60 from opener Upul Tharanga.
Seamers Tim Southee, Adam Milne and Trent Boult utilised good conditions for swing bowling, employing a full length which the Sri Lanka batsmen failed to handle, aside from Tharanga in his 94-ball effort.
Tim Southee took 3-18, including opener Dinesh Chandimal for a golden duck and Tharanga in the final ball of the innings before rain sent players from the field.
Allrounder Andrew Ellis took 2-22, left-armer Boult 1-23 and Milne 1-17, including his first ODI wicket of key batsman Kumar Sangakkara for five, which reduced the hosts to 4-44.
Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene batted down the order and scored a crisp 24 before he was run out by Nathan McCullum.
The weather has worked against New Zealand throughout the series, in which the first and last matches were washed out.
Sri Lanka batted second in the other rain-hit games, which worked to their advantage each time the Duckworth/Lewis method was employed.
New Zealand captain Ross Taylor, who has bemoaned the influence of the weather all tour, preferred to focus on the good work of his seam attack.
"The bowlers pitched the ball up and gave us a chance. We knew the rain was going to be around," Taylor said.
"Hopefully, we can have a good couple of days off and look ahead to the Tests. We have made some improvements and we need to get better. Today's a good start."
New Zealand received some positive news when wicketkeeper BJ Watling was named player of the ODI series, having scored 166 runs at an average of 83.
Watling returns home with seven team-mates after completing the ODI leg of the tour. They will be replaced by eight other players for the two-Test series.
The first Test is in Galle this weekend.
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