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Sri Lanka v New Zealand Twenty20 2012
Pallekele International Cricket Stadium
Match abandoned And that's the end of that, it's a no-result. What a waste of time. Come back for the first ODI, on 1 November, where hopefully matters will be a bit more exciting.
Rain Darn. The covers are coming on as the rain gets heavier. They need to play five overs for this to count as a match. The Duckworth-Lewis target is 72.
Over 2 Oram 1-0-0-0-1-1 6-0 - Jacob Oram takes the new ball rather than Southee, and Muna taps it away for a single first ball. Dilshan tries to get it away but can only hit it to the fielders as the rain starts. He takes a single and then Muna is dropped by Hira at point. Sharp chance, but should have been nabbed. Maybe the ball is slippery...
Over 1 Mills 1-1-1-0-0-0 3-0 - Kyle Mills kicks off the Kiwi defence and Munaweera immediately gets off the mark with a single, before Dilshan does the same. Mills does a good job and no boundaries are scored, just one more single. Nothing flashy from the Lankans yet.
Sri Lanka's Chase The umpires, openers Munaweera and Dilshan and the New Zealand XI head back out to the middle for the pursuit. Strap in for the ride, hold thumbs the rain doesn't return.
New Zealand End On 74 For Seven The Kiwis have Southee to thank for a total they will consider marginally defendable. These conditions are pretty tough for batting, and this truncated contest is by no means decided. Stick around for Sri Lanka's pursuit.
Over 14 Kulasekara 1lb-0-2-1-1-2 74-7 - Kulasekara to bowl the final over of the innings, duly driving a full length into the batsman's toes, before Southee's swift footwork affords him a two pushed to long-on. Largely robbed of the strike by his partner's dominance, Oram tries to get in on the act belatedly. Utlimately, though, its Southee who ends the innings by nurdling two to short fine-leg. A ricocheted overthrow helped his cause.
Over 13 Eranga 0-4-4-0-4-0 67-7 - Southee gifted a full toss, but only manages to clout it to mid-on. Then something a touch too short, which he does punish, scooping four over cover, later riding his luck for four more off a thick edge past the wicketkeeper. Doesn't matter how they come, as long as they come, any tail-ender will tell you, with Southee's late lap shot adding a third boundary for the over past short fine-leg. A second full toss makes it four boundaries for the over, with Southee finishing the most expensive over of the innings with a flourish through midwicket.
Over 12 Dananjaya 1-1-1-W-0-0 51-7 - The spinner isn't giving an inch, so Oram has to take it by offering himself to the leg-side, but not with much success. WICKET! Ellis later looks to go big over the on-side again, but this time he get under it enough, with Thirimanne hanging onto an easy enough catch at midwicket. New Zealand seven down. Southee in now, and he can't afford any sighters. Boundaries by the bucketload are the order of the day for the Black Caps lower order.
Over 11 Perera 0-2-4-1-1-6 48-6 - And, yes, the rain is back, but not hard enough to force the players off the field. Ellis isn't fazed by the weather around him, instead fixing his focus on the task at hand by lacing four through the covers. Perera's line has been found wanting since the rain delay. The stop-start nature of the contest certainly has not helped his quest for rhythm. He then errs in length, with Ellis swatting the first six of the match over midwicket. Almost a one-bounce four, but there was enough carry in it in the end, as Ellis becomes the first New Zealander to reach double figures today.
Over 10 Dananjaya 0-0-W-4-1-1 34-6 - Spin into the attack in the form of the 19-year-old rookie, who debuted in the World Twenty20. Immediate success for him, with Watling's sweep amounting to nothing more than a top edge, which falls tamely into the hands of Chandimal at short fine-leg. Oram in now, and he'll want to give it a real wallop if New Zealand have any ambition whatsoever to post a formidable total against the odds. The big all-rounder is off to a promising enough start, fetching the finest of glances for four and then pushing a single to a shallowish cover.
Over 9 Perera 1-3 28-5 - Perera concludes his over broken by the rain, with Ellis moving off the mark and Watling slicing three to deep cover, where the fielder puts in superb diving-stop to prevent the boundary.
Play Resumes So, to recap, New Zealand are struggling at 24 for five. Ellis and Watling are currently at the crease.
It's Official The game has been reduced to 14 overs per side, and play will resume at 21:45 local, (16:15 GMT). That's in five minutes' time.
21:31 Local Time (16:01 GMT) And so the seesaw weather tilts again, with the Sri Lankans now on the field and warming up. If no more rain, we'll have a resumption soon.
21:22 Local Time (15:52 GMT) So much for that. The rain has resumed. Sigh. *Twiddles thumbs*
21:11 Local Time (15:41 GMT) The rain has stopped and the groundsmen are wandering around. That's about all we've got for you at the moment.
Over 8.4 Perera 0-0-W-0 24-5 - WICKET! Taylor's ambition to be the backbone of this otherwise fragile innings amounts to diddlysquat. He tries to cut, but his execution of the shot is questionable, and the line of the ball is probably too close to his body for a stroke of such a cross-bat nature. The faintest edge ensues, the bowler hardly notices it, but the wicketkeeper does. Up goes the umpire's finger. In comes Ellis, and as he arrives at the crease the umpires decide the rain is too much to continue playing in. On come the covers, and so the wait begins again at 20:35 local time (15:05 GMT).
Over 8 Eranga 0-0-0-0-4-0 24-4 - Watling the recipient of some vicious movement off the track, with the ball screaming into his bat handle, and it might've cracked. His next shot emits a lame sound, and it's time he change his willow - this one is ready for the wood-chipper. Not before he affords it a finally least on life, though, by driving four through the covers. Maybe he will hang onto it after all.
Over 7 Perera 0-0-1-1-W-1wd-1 20-4 - Perera's introduction makes it four right-arm seamers on the trot from Sri Lanka. Not the greatest line to a left-hander from the bowler, who coughs up some leg-side fodder. Franklin glances at 'em both, with the second one far too fine - as Sangakkara hangs onto a great catch on the dive. That's a real steal for Perera, and he will know full well Lady Luck paid him a visit. Watling in now, no Oram yet.
Over 6 Eranga 1wd-0-1-W-0-0-1 16-3 - Nothing one-dimensional about this Sri Lankan attack, but here's another right-arm seamer, playing only his second T20I. WICKET! Immediate success for him, with Nicol's ugly swipe across the line bringing a dead plumb lbw decision. That was hitting the middle of middle surely. The left-handed Franklin in now.
Over 5 Mathews 1-0-1-0-0-1 13-2 - Taylor quick to steal off the mark, but Nicol remains on zero not out off all of 10 deliveries before plugging a single on the bounce to mid-on, who almost beats the ball to the deck to take a catch. Scratchy start from Nicol, indeed.
Over 4 Kulasekara 1wd-1lb-1wd-0-1lb-0-W-0 10-2 - The seamer coughs up a couple of wides, the second of which is harsh call, given its very close proximity to the leg-stump. Aside from the extras, the New Zealanders are largely flummoxed by Kulasekara this over. He is getting plenty of lateral swing through the air and lateral movement off the pitch. WICKET! The pressure eventually tolls, with McCullum attempting to hit the cover off the ball, but succeeding only in planking it high into the sky. Perera is under the catch, and takes it comfortably. New Zealand in an early spot of bother - we've written that a lot of late. Captain Taylor in now.
Over 3 Mathews 0-0-0-0-0-1 6-1 - The drizzle has returned, but the umpires are eager to keep the players on the field. If they leave now, one imagines they won't get back on. Mathews, meanwhile, continues his slew of dot balls, largely aided by some indifferent shot selection by the Kiwis. McCullum looks to heave through the leg-side, and might've gloved it, but the umpire is not convinced of the appeal for caught behind. Television replays remain inconclusive, so the New Zealander stays, and steals a single to move off the mark too.
Over 25 Kulasekara 0-0-0-4-W-1lb 5-1 - Two slips in place for the right-arm seamer and vice-captain, who cuts Latham in half with some vicious nip into the left-hander off the seam. Latham eventually middles one, slicing four past the diving cover fielder as New Zealand finally get off the mark 10 deliveries into their innings. WICKET! Those are Latham's first and last runs for the day, though, as he swipes across the line and misses. The gap to sneak through is vast, and Kulasekara does just that, castling the stumps. In comes T20I cricket's top-ranked batsman, McCullum.
Over 1 Mathews 0-0-0-0-0-0 0-0 - Right-arm seamer gets first use of the new ball, with a wide first slip in place. Nicol immediately looks to attack by dancing down the wicket, swinging and missing the marginal lateral movement. Then all defence, and a wild swing, which all ultimately amounts to a maiden.
New Zealand's Innings Batsmen Latham and Nicol, umpires Ranmore Martinesz and Ruchira Palliyaguruge and the Sri Lanka XI head out to the middle for the start of play. Strap in for the ride, folks, it should be a cracker.
Sri Lanka XI Dilshan Munaweera, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Kumar Sangakkara, Dinesh Chandimal, Angelo Mathews, Jeevan Mendis, Lahiru Thirimanne, Thisara Perera, Shaminda Eranga, Nuwan Kulasekara, Akila Dananjaya.
New Zealand XI Tom Latham, Rob Nicol, Brendon McCullum, Ross Taylor, James Franklin, Jacob Oram, BJ Watling, Andrew Ellis, Tim Southee, Kyle Mills, Ronnie Hira.
Team News Sri Lanka have picked batsman Dinesh Chandimal and Shaminda Eranga - neither played in the World Twenty20. Mahela Jayawardene and Lasith Malinga, remember, have been rested. The Black Caps, meanwhile, have named Tom Latham in their XI - and he will open the batting alongside Rob Nicol. All-rounder Andrew Ellis is in too.
Toss Home captain Angelo Mathews triumphs at the flip of the coin and, indeed, opts to bowl first. Taylor reckons he would have done the same.
Pitch Conditions Former New Zealand batsman and pseudo pitch pundit Craig McMillan surveys the playing surface and finds it sweaty and grassy after a considerably lengthy period under the covers. The team that wins the toss should bowl first, to afford the seamers initial help.
Drier, Again Mum Nature and her sodden mood have sobered up, and play will start at 19:45 local time (14:15 GMT). No reduction in overs.
Not So Dry Sad news - the rain - in full force - has returned, the covers are back on in their entirety across the ground, the toss is delayed. And so the wait continues at 18:39 local time (13:09 GMT).
Drier The drizzle has relented and the covers have been dragged off in preparation of the toss, which will prove that much more key given the chance of more rain - and Messrs Duckworth and Lewis - later.
Wet, Wet Wet Typically hot and humid in Sri Lanka today, but damp too, with the inclement weather casting the start of play into doubt. New Zealand skipper Ross Taylor revealed in a series of tweets earlier: "Hasn't rained in Kandy for five hours. We might get a game. Thanks for all the messages and hope that the rain stays away. Spoke too soon. Just started raining."
Greetings Hello and welcome to our over-by-over commentary of the one-off Twenty20 International between Sri Lanka and New Zealand at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium.
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