Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
“This is the second year we’ve been to Sri Lanka in the month of November and every game last year was also affected by rain”
New Zealand stand-in captain Kyle Mills has announced that he is infuriated over the fact that the national team’s tour of Sri Lanka was scheduled during the monsoon season.
Speaking about the third ODI, which Sri Lanka won by 36 runs via the Duckworth-Lewis method, Mills was astounded that the umpires had allowed play to carry on even after the sun had set.
“For a day game to have a scheduled close of play after sunset where obviously it’s not possible to play – it doesn’t sound like common sense to me,” Mills said. “Especially when we fought our way into the match and were in a position to win it. We were in a better position today than we were in the last game, which we won. It’s a bitter pill to swallow.
“We were told 33 overs, but we were aware that it was going to get dark not long after 5:30 and we probably weren’t going to get our full allotment of overs in. I feel like we were slightly hardly done in that situation. Whether we would have gone on to win or lose is not something I can answer, but it is frustrating.”
Mills added that New Zealand stood a good chance of winning today’s match, especially if Nathan McCullum, who remained unbeaten on 35 off 19 balls, had continued to stay at the crease.
“To score 90 runs off eight overs at the end is something we could have achieved,” Mills said. “We arrived today with high hopes of winning 2-0. That was our goal when we arrived in the country. To walk away 1-1 feels a bit empty to tell you the truth. We had an opportunity to win 2-0, but due to circumstances it wasn’t to be.”
All three matches in this ODI series have been affected by rain as the first match was abandoned, the second game was reduced to 23 overs and the final ODI was cut down to 33 overs.
“Any cricketer gets frustrated when there’s rain about,” Mills said. “For every game to get affected is a bit disappointing for both teams and everyone involved, including the spectators, the fans and everyone who has a stake in the game. This is the second year we’ve been to Sri Lanka in the month of November and every game last year was also affected by rain, but those were the cards we were dealt.”
However, despite being disappointed with the scheduling of the series, Mills lavished praise on his team, stating that they had done a superb job to end the series as a 1-1 draw, especially without the help of regular skipper and wicketkeeper Brendon McCullum and the batting duo of Ross Taylor and Kane Williamson.
“Today a couple of the young players stood up,” Mills said. “Jimmy Neesham played well with the ball bat despite getting dislocated finger at the end of Bangladesh series. Mitchell McClenaghan bowled the best he has bowled all tour today. From the previous game, Tom Latham and Colin Munro – all guys who are inexperienced at this level. We can take a little learning from these games.
“A few guys stepped up and we’ve persevered really well in tough situations – both times with the ball. Sri Lanka got off to a good start and the way we fought our way back into each innings was exceptionally pleasing, especially today.”