Rain ends chance of win against Sri Lanka

FRED WOODCOCK
Last updated 06:17 13/11/2012

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Rain has been Sri Lanka's friend, again.

Just when New Zealand looked like they could actually win a match on their miserable cricket tour of Sri Lanka, the heavens opened again and didn't let up as the fifth and final one-day international was washed out.

The hosts claimed overall victory 3-0 but like much of the series they were on the right side of the ledger when it came to the weather. Asked to bat first by New Zealand skipper Ross Taylor, Sri Lanka were in deep strife at 123-8 after 28.3 overs when play was halted, then eventually called off, in Hambantota.

But while the tourists will be lamenting the weather, they can have few complaints if any about the series result.

Though they didn't have any luck, they were not in dominant positions when the rain arrived, apart from today, and Sri Lanka had their measure, particularly with the ball. New Zealand were simply off the pace.

Of the touring batsmen, only BJ Watling will emerge having truly enhanced his reputation with a couple of excellent half centuries, while the bowlers, apart from today, couldn't make serious inroads into Sri Lanka's top-heavy batting lineup.

They will however take some confidence into the first test, which starts in Galle on Saturday, after skittling the hosts today.

Tim Southee got three wickets under his belt in an excellent spell of 3-18 from 5.3 overs, while Andy Ellis snared a couple and Trent Boult and Adam Milne, who took his first ODI wicket, also claimed one each.

Only opener Upal Tharanga with 60 showed any sort of resistance for the hosts on what was another good wickets for the seamers.

"The bowlers pitched the ball up and gave it a chance," Taylor said at the post-match presentation, which not for the first time this series was held indoors.

"Hopefully we can have a good couple of days off and look ahead to the tests. We made some improvements and we need to get better to repay our fans back home. "Today's a good start. Test cricket is the ultimate, we've got seven or eight guys coming over. Hopefully the weather plays its part, it hasn't been raining as much as during the night."

Despite being on the losing team, Watling was named man of the series for his 166 runs at 83.

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