Sri Lanka Struggle Before Rain Washes Out Final ODI
Sri Lanka 123-8 (Tharanga 60) v
New Zealand - no result
Fifth One-Day International, Hambantota
There was unfortunately little surprise in store at Hambantota, where the fifth and final One-Day International between Sri Lanka and New Zealand was abandoned.
After 28.3 overs, Sri Lanka had struggled to make 123 for eight when the rain set in, and despite inspections being scheduled, that was as far as the game got, meaning Sri Lanka claimed the series 3-0.
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With the series in the bag, the hosts decided to mix up their batting order but it was specialist opener Upul Tharanga who was the only player to look at home, scoring 60.
Tim Southee took three for 18 and Andrew Ellis two for 22 as the Black Caps left it late - too late - to produce their best bowling performance of the tour.
Southee bowled Dinesh Chandimal for noufhr and had Lahiru Thirimanne caught behind for 17 and when Angelo Mathews was caught by Southee off Trent Boult without scoring, Sri Lanka were reeling at 34 for three.
10 more runs had been added when Andrew Milne took his first wicket in ODIs - that of Kumar Sangakkara with a fine delivery that forced the left-hander into playing although he could only edge to BJ Watling behind the stumps.
Mahela Jayawardene managed to score his 3,500th run as ODI captain on a day for captains leading from the front with the bat but had made 24 when he ran himself out trying to take a single to Nathan McCullum and losing to a direct hit.
Ellis then struck to remove Jeevan Mendis (0) and Thisara Perera (11) while Tharanga's excellent effort, which included eight fours, ended when he was caught by Watling off Southee.
However, that was the final action of the match as the players were taken off immediately after Tharanga fell, never to return.
The two sides now play a brace of Test matches, the first beginning in Galle on 17th November and it goes without saying that both sets of players, officials and fans will be hoping fervently for a significant improvement in the weather.
Of a scheduled 540 overs in the five ODIs and one Twenty20 International scheduled, only 240 of them as well as five balls have been bowled - well over half of the series has been washed out.
© Cricket World 2012
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