Sri Lanka vs New Zealand 1st ODI: Rain has the final say after Sri Lanka score 288

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Malinga’s early wicket went in vain as the rain had the last laugh

New Zealand were looking to add to their winning streak after beating Bangladesh in a one-off Twenty20 International just four days ago, but heavy rain ensured that neither them nor Sri Lanka walked away with a victory in the first ODI in Hambantota.

Sri Lanka’s batting duo of Tillakaratne Dilshan and Kumar Sangakkara, along with captain Angelo Mathews, all scored brilliant half-centuries before the match was abandoned just four overs into New Zealand’s innings.

New Zealand stand-in captain Kyle Mills won the toss and chose to bowl first.

His decision to do so paid off right away as he trapped opening batsman Dimuth Karunaratne lbw off the very first ball of Sri Lanka’s innings.

However, Sri Lanka were able to make a dramatic recovery as Dilshan and Sangakkara registered a fantastic 137-run partnership, during which both batsmen brought up their half-centuries, before Sangakkara was caught out off the bowling of Anton Devcich for 79.

Sangakkara’s outstanding knock of 79 came off 81 balls and included nine boundaries and two sixes.

Veteran batsman Mahela Jayawardene failed to make a major contribution as he was caught out for just one run to become Devcich’s second victim of the day.

Dilshan and Mathews steadied the innings with an excellent 58-run partnership before Dilshan was caught behind off the bowling of Corey Anderson for 81.

Dilshan’s spectacular innings of 81 came off 114 deliveries and included nine boundaries.

Dilshan’s dismissal led to Sri Lanka’s middle and lower order, with the exception of Mathews, collapsing under the pressure of New Zealand’s bowling attack.

Thanks to Mathews unbeaten 74 off 64 balls, which included nine boundaries and a six, Sri Lanka were able to post a formidable total of 288 at the end of their 50 overs.

Mills was the pick of the New Zealand bowlers with three wickets, while Devcich and Mitchell McClenaghan snapped up two wickets apiece and Anderson and Nathan McCullum chipped in with one wicket each.

Chasing 289 to win, New Zealand got off to the worst possible start as Devcich was clean bowled for a duck by a Lasith Malinga yorker.

Just as New Zealand had got over the shock of losing Devcich, the heavens parted and, after a long wait with the rain seeming to have no end in sight, the umpires had no choice but to abandon the match.

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