Sri Lanka seal soggy success
A fine 62-ball 72 from New Zealand captain Ross Taylor proved in vain as Sri Lanka claimed a 14-run victory on the Duckworth/Lewis method at Pallekele in the second of five one-day internationals.
After the series-opener at the same venue was washed out on Thursday, rain once again played its part today.
Sri Lanka’s pursuit of 251 was interrupted after seven overs and when further showers returned in the 23rd set of six the game was brought to an end.
At that stage, the hosts were 118 for three and ahead on D/L, with skipper Mahela Jayawardene unbeaten on 43.
Jayawardene’s opposite number Taylor was responsible for providing much-needed impetus earlier in the day as New Zealand posted 250 for six.
When BJ Watling departed for a patient 55 in the 34th over, the Black Caps were 130 for three, but Taylor, who struck seven fours and two sixes, then dominated a partnership of 91 with James Franklin that spanned just 71 balls.
Runs dried up again following Taylor’s departure to Nuwan Kulasekara, and Lasith Malinga finished with 2-39, having yorked Andrew Ellis with the last delivery of the innings.
Malinga’s opening spell of 5-0-12-1 was a significant factor in New Zealand’s slow start. Tom Latham, opening in place of the injured Martin Guptill, found runs particularly tough to come by before being bowled through the gate for two.
Rob Nicol and Watling shared 87 thereafter, only for the latter to be caught behind for 46 attempting to drive Thisara Perera.
Watling, slog-sweeping Rangana Herath, was then caught by a diving Jayawardene at short midwicket, but Taylor kicked on and received able support from Franklin, who finished unbeaten on 35.
Kyle Mills had Upul Tharanga caught behind off a bottom edge before the first stoppage in Sri Lanka’s reply.
New Zealand claimed another breakthrough in the over after the resumption when Kumar Sangakkara chased a wide delivery from Trent Boult and fell victim to a superb catch by Nicol at backward point.
Yet a stand of 59 between Jayawardene and Tillakaratne Dilshan proved pivotal and Sri Lanka remained ahead of the D/L par score despite the latter falling tamely to Nathan McCullum for 37.