Bad weather forced the first Twenty20 International between Sri Lanka and New Zealand to be abandoned without a ball being bowled in Pallekele on Tuesday (November 19).
Heavy rain through the day drenched Pallekele International Stadium and the umpires, Ruchira Palliyaguruge and Raveendra Wimalasiri, were forced to delay the toss. However, with the rain showing no sign of relenting, the umpires had no option but to call off the match at 8.45pm.
So far, every match in the limited-overs series has been interrupted by rain. The three-match One-Day International series ended in a 1-1 draw after Sri Lanka won the third ODI by 36 runs on the Duckworth-Lewis Method, following New Zealand’s four-wicket victory in the second ODI, also by the D/L Method. The first match was abandoned after New Zealand had reached 13 for 1 in its chase of 289.
Prior to the match in Pallekele, New Zealand was dealt a blow when James Neesham, the all-rounder, was ruled out of both T20Is due to a sprain in the little finger on his left hand. Neesham sustained the injury during the third ODI while attempting to field a powerful drive by Nuwan Kulasekara off his own bowling. An x-ray the following day revealed no fracture to the bone, but a subsequent scan showed moderate tendon damage.
“It’s important we allow Jimmy’s finger sufficient time to heal in order to achieve a full recovery. We expect Jimmy to be back playing again in around four to six weeks,” said Paul Close, the New Zealand physiotherapist.
The second T20I is scheduled for the same venue on Thursday.