Rain plays spoilsport in Hambantota

Heavy rain forced the first One-Day International between New Zealand and Sri Lanka to be abandoned in Hambantota on Sunday (November 10), cutting short an impressive display by Sri Lanka. New Zealand was 13 for 1 from 4.2 overs in reply to Sri Lanka’s 288 for 9, when play was called off.

Earlier in the day, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Kumar Sangakkara and Angelo Mathews all hit half-centuries to give Sri Lanka a formidable total.

Kyle Mills, the New Zealand captain, gave his team an electrifying start after winning the toss and electing to field, when he trapped Dimuth Karunaratne lbw with the first delivery of the innings.

Dilshan and Sangakkara, however, steadied the innings with a second-wicket partnership of 137. Sangakkara made 79 off 81 balls, with nine boundaries and two sixes, while Dilshan scored 81.

Anton Devcich, the left-arm spinner, dealt a double blow when he removed Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene in the space of four deliveries to reduce Sri Lanka to 139 for 3. But Dilshan put on 58 for the fourth wicket with Mathews, the captain, who smashed nine fours and a six in an unbeaten 74 off 64 balls.

Mills, who was named captain for the tour after Brendon McCullum, the regular captain, was rested, was New Zealand’s most successful bowler with 3 for 49. Mitchell McClenaghan and Devcich claimed two wickets each.

When New Zealand batted, Devcich was bowled for a duck in Lasith Malinga’s first over, before Tom Latham (4 not out) and Rob Nicol (1 not out) denied Sri Lanka further success.

The second of the three ODIs is scheduled to be played at the same venue on Tuesday.