Sri Lanka 118-3 (Jayawardene 43no) beat
New Zealand 250-6 (Taylor 72) by 14 runs (D/L)
Second One-Day International, Pallekele
New Zealand and Sri Lanka finally got onto the field to get their ODI series underway, but it was the Black Caps who were left ruing the rain when it did arrive as it meant Sri Lanka were victors by 14 runs on the Duckworth-Lewis method.
New Zealand had just begun to wrest back a modicum of control with the wicket of Tillakaratne Dilshan (37 off 51 balls) following his third-wicket partnership of 59 in 65 balls with Mahela Jayawardene (43 not out off 49), but the rain arrived for the second, and as it would turn out final, time in the Sri Lankan run chase with the par score on 104 and Sri Lanka on 118.
Sri Lanka had lost two early wickets in pursuit of the 251 that they needed to win - those of Upul Tharanga, caught behind off Kyle Mills for six, and Kumar Sangakkara, caught brilliantly at point by Rob Nicol for 11 - but Jayawardene oozed class and his 43 not out proved to be enough in the circumstances.
New Zealand had earlier been dealt a blow before the match had even begun as Brendon McCullum was ruled out with a stiff back, meaning that BJ Watling would have to keep wicket. They then lost Tom Latham for a two in Lasith Malinga’s fourth over, before things brightened with a second-wicket partnership of 83 between Nicol and Watling. Nicol made 46 but edged Thisara Perera to Sangakkara from his 74th ball, while Watling perished a handful of overs later for 55 off 86 balls to Rangana Herath.
At this stage, there was a possibility that the tourists could squander their good work as Herath completed his ten overs at a cost of just 28 runs and Malinga proved difficult to get away in the batting powerplay.
However, their captain Ross Taylor played a blinder, hitting nine boundaries during his 62-ball stay at the crease, which yielded 72 runs. James Franklin proved to be a more than useful ally and the two added 91 for the fourth-wicket.
Taylor’s departure in the 46th over was an untimely one, but New Zealand, sticking to their pre-game plan to target the death overs, garnered 76 runs off the final nine overs to take them to what is there highest ODI score against Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka. Unfortunately for them, owing to rain and Jayawardene, it wouldn’t be quite enough.
© Cricket World 2012
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