Black Caps fall to Sri Lanka as rain comes

FRED WOODCOCK
Last updated 10:40 05/11/2012
Mahela Jayawardene
Reuters
OFF THE LEGS: Mahela Jayawardene plays around the pads of New Zealand wicketkeeper BJ Watling during the second ODI in Kandy. Sri won by 14 runs under the Duckworth-Lewis method after rain ended the match early.

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New Zealand cricket coach Mike Hesson has been left with a hollow feeling after the rain-affected loss to Sri Lanka in the second one-day international this morning (NZT).

The match was nicely poised when rain had the final say for the third match in succession, though this time enough cricket had been played for a result and it was the hosts who prevailed after the calculators had done their thing.

Chasing New Zealand's 250-6, Sri Lanka were 118-3 after 22.5 overs, good enough to win by 14 runs under the Duckworth-Lewis system at Pallekele.

With the first match abandoned, they take a 1-0 lead in the five-match series.

Unlike the Twenty20 match last week the tourists were this time on the wrong end of the rain. Hesson said the result was "depressing", given his view that the Kiwis were defending an "above-par total"."

Sri Lanka are pretty top-heavy with their batting and we'd dismissed two of their big players in the first 20 overs so I was pretty confident we were going to give it a decent crack," he said.

Captain Ross Taylor, who won the toss and opted to bat first on a slow pitch, also believed New Zealand had a competitive total but he had to take the result on the chin.

"It's just one of those things. We thought 250 was a competitive total but we probably let in a few too many fours in that first stage of their innings," he said.

"We knew Duckworth-Lewis would favour the chasing team but we gave it a good show, we just weren't good enough."

Rain-affected matches generally favour the chasing team but at the toss there was no sign of rain and Taylor, who top-scored with 72 from 62 balls despite vomiting before he went out to bat, will be comforted by the fact his counterpart, Mahela Jayawardene, said he would also have batted.

New Zealand were true to their word in the first innings.

Taylor had indicated they would bat the old fashioned way, conserving wickets and building a platform for a late launch.

That they did.

The tourists went at just 3.5 runs an over across the first 20 and only scored 31 runs in the five-over power play, but still built nicely and at 220-3 after 45 overs, 270 was certainly on the cards.

Opener Rob Nicol (46 off 74 balls) and No 3 BJ Watling (55 off 86), in the side as the wicketkeeper with Brendon McCullum not considered because of lower back stiffness, put on 83 for the second wicket. Taylor and James Franklin (35 not out off 40) then picked up the pace when they combined in the 34th over, the experienced pair adding 91 from 71 balls.

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But New Zealand couldn't find the boundary in the final five overs, though 250 was still their highest ODI score against Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka.

Nathan McCullum had just taken the vital wicket of Tillakaratne Dilshan for 37 before the rain arrived for the second and final time, meaning two of the big three (Kumar Sangakkara was dismissed earlier for 11) were back in the pavilion, although Jayawardene was looking in good touch on 43 from 49 balls.

Left-armer Trent Boult looked the most impressive of the Kiwi bowlers and was able to get consistent swing. He picked up Sangakkara's wicket and ended with 1-26 from six overs.

Taylor wasn't the only player to fall ill during the match; allrounder Andrew Ellis was unable to bowl because of a stomach bug. He batted late in New Zealand's innings but was "very sick" between innings, Hesson said, and was sent back to the team's hotel.The coach praised Taylor's innings, particularly given how crook the skipper was.

He was unsure of McCullum's availability for the third match in Pallekele, which on Tuesday (10pm NZT), after his "back flared up".

Scoreboard at the end of the second one-day international between Sri Lanka and New Zealand:

NEW ZEALAND

R NICOL c Sangakkara b Perera 46
T LATHAM b Malinga 2
B WATLING c Jayawardene b Herath 55
R TAYLOR c Mathews b Kulasekara 72
J FRANKLIN not out 35
N McCULLUM c Perera b Mathews 16
A ELLIS b Malinga 4
   
Extras (1b 8lb 11w) 20

Six wickets for 250

Fall: 17 (Latham), 100 (Nicol), 130 (Watling), 221 (Taylor), 242 (McCullum), 250 (Ellis).

Bowling: L Malinga 10-0-39-2 (1w), N Kulasekara 10-1-50-1 (2w), A Mathews 7-0-38-1 (1w), T Perera 7-0-52-1, R Herath 10-0-28-1 (1w), J Mendis 6-0-34-0 (1w).

SRI LANKA

U THARANGA c Watling b Mills 6
T DILSHAN c Williamson b McCullum 37
K SANGAKKARA c Nicol b Boult 11
M JAYAWARDENE not out 43
A MATHEWS not out 7
   
Extras (8lb 6w) 14

Three wickets for 118

Fall: 21 (Tharanga), 39 (Sangakkara), 98 (Dilshan).

Bowling: K Mills 5-0-33-1, T Boult 6-0-26-1 (3w), T Southee 4-0-16-0 (2w), J Franklin 3-0-16-0, N McCullum 2.5-0-12-1, R Nicol 2-0-7-0 (1w).
   
Result: Sri Lanka won by 14 runs (D/L Method)

Series: Sri Lanka leads the series 1-0

- Fairfax Media

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