Black Caps again dissolve in the Sri Lankan rain

Last updated 05:00 08/11/2012
BJ Watling
REINFORCEMENTS: BJ Watling will return to the Black Caps for the ODI series and is expected to open the batting.

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Rosss Taylor emerged from hospital only to be greeted by more rain and his bowlers again dropping short in yesterday's Duckworth Lewis loss in Sri Lanka.

The hosts' seven-wicket win in the third one-day international in Kandy means New Zealand must win the remaining two games to square the series at 2-2.

The Black Caps again got the short end of the stick, being sent in to bat and facing 14 overs before rain reduced the contest to 33 overs apiece.

With the first game washed out and the second a Duckworth Lewis defeat, it was no wonder skipper Taylor - in hospital with gastroenteritis the day before - used the words "frustrating" and "disappointing" several times.

The performance of opener B J Watling, who scored 96 not out off 88 balls in New Zealand's 188 for six, was the obvious highlight, before Tillakaratne Dilshan (102 not out off 95) mowed down the target with ease.

"You know [the weather is] going to be disruptive, that's why you win the toss and bowl first," Taylor said.

"That's what we would have done today, and I guess it's just been a frustrating tour all-round . . . But I thought the way B J Watling played was outstanding.

"He just keeps growing and growing as a player. Competition is always good - he's not an automatic selection - but I'm sure the way he's played, in the last little while, he's pushing for that.

"He took risks, hit the ball in the air; it wasn't all along the ground and he showed the power game that he does have."

However, Taylor gave his bowling attack a tuneup ahead of Saturday's fourth ODI.

"We were probably a little bit short in the last two games and on these slower wickets, it's probably a New Zealand length that we're bowling at the moment. We need to bowl that foot or two fuller and a lot straighter and get hit down the ground. At the moment, . . . we're just being hit too square."

James Franklin, with 26, was New Zealand's next best contributor with the bat, while Dilshan took a liking to all of the touring attack.

He was particularly savage on Tim Southee, who finished with the expensive figures of one for 50 off seven overs.

Brendon McCullum (back) returned to the side as a specialist batsman but could manage only 13 off 25 batting at No 3. 

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- The Dominion Post

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