Cricket: It was tough out there - Taylor

By Cameron McMillan

Playing in Sri Lanka during the wet season was always going to be a risky move and it's played havoc with New Zealand's opening match of their tour, with their one-off Twenty20 encounter called off with only 16 overs bowled this morning (NZT).

New Zealand struggled to make 74 for seven in a reduced 14 overs after being sent in on a pitch that had been under covers for three days leading up to the match.

Sri Lanka reached 6-0 from two overs before the covers had to be called on and remained there until the match was abandoned.

Skipper Ross Taylor said the score might have looked low on paper but it would have been competitive had the rain stayed away.

"It was tough out there and I think a no-result was a fair reflection on the match,'' he said. "In saying that, I still think we were in with a sniff with 70 runs under our belt and I guess that shows what type of wicket it was.''

"I feel sorry for the groundsman. The wicket's been underprepared and under covers for three days and, for us to get out there and play a Twenty20 match on that wicket, it was probably a fair result at the end of the day.''

The bad news for New Zealand is that the rainy season isn't moving and neither are they with the first one day international also taking place in Pallekele tomorrow night 10pm (NZT).

"Our tour starts now, really, and hopefully some sunshine comes out because I can't see that wicket changing a hell of a lot in the next couple of days,'' Taylor said.

New Zealand made the worst possible start to their innings after being sent in with the top six batsmen failing to reach double figures.

They struggled through to 28-6 midway through the ninth over before a quickfire 21 by Tim Southee ensured they passed 70.

Tom Latham (4), Rob Nicol (1), Brendon McCullum (1), Taylor (4), James Franklin (2) and BJ Watling (8) all failed to entertain the crowd with the type of hitting expected in a Twenty20 clash with only two boundaries between them.

They were 24-5 when rain interrupted play, shortening the match to 14 overs each, and it took Jacob Oram (10), Andy Ellis (16) and Southee to try to resurrect the innings.

Oram and Southee put on 23 for the eighth wicket, the biggest partnership of the match.

- nzherald.co.nz

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