x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Taylor's effort undone as Sri Lanka take 1-0 lead in ODIs

Rain plays spoilsport as the hosts win by 14 runs on Duckworth-Lewis method.

Denied by rain, Ross Taylor, right, and John Watling leave the field disappointed.
Denied by rain, Ross Taylor, right, and John Watling leave the field disappointed.

KANDY // Sri Lanka beat New Zealand by 14 runs under the Duckworth-Lewis method yesterday to finally achieve a positive result on a rain-scarred tour.

When the players and umpires were driven from the field by heavy drizzle for the second time at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium, Sri Lanka were for 118 for three off 22.5 overs.

That put them ahead of the par score of 104 after New Zealand had made 250 for six from their 50 overs.

It was a frustrating end to proceedings but at least it meant one side secured a victory after the first two matches of the tour were abandoned because of rain.

Thursday's first scheduled one-day international, also in Pallekele, was called off without a ball being bowled and before that the two sides took part in a Twenty20 International in which only 16 overs were completed.

The rain that ended the action last night followed two dry and mostly sunny days during which no rain fell at all.

In the play that was possible, Ross Taylor, the New Zealand captain, top-scored in his side's total with a hard-hit 72 from 62 balls despite not feeling well either before or during his innings.

"I vomited before I batted and I'm still not feeling 100 per cent but, hopefully, I'll get back to the hotel and get right for Tuesday," he said at the post-match presentation ceremony.

"We knew it was the case that Duckworth-Lewis tends to favour the side batting second and we gave it a good show but we just weren't quite good enough."

BJ Watling, who deputised behind the stumps for Brendon McCullum, who missed the match with a sore back, weighed in with 55 for New Zealand, who were also without all-rounder Jacob Oram, another back injury victim.

Mahela Jayawardene, the Sri Lanka captain, anchored his side's response with an unbeaten 43 from 49 balls. He added 59 for the third wicket with the former captain Tillakaratne Dilshan (37) who became the third player to reach 1,000 ODI runs in 2012 after teammate Kumar Sangakarra and India's Virat Kohli.

"It was probably a good toss to lose," said Jayawardena. "After the first shower we had a chat inside the dressing rooms and said we should stay ahead of the Duckworth-Lewis mark."

Lasith Malinga was man-of-the-match after taking two for 39.

Yesterday's match and the next match tomorrow were switched to Pallekele after heavy rain in Colombo left the original venue, the R Premadasa Stadium, under water.

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