Cricket: Play in second ODI unlikely

By Michael Brown

Martin Guptill and Doug Bracewell might now be thankful to have been left behind for the limited overs portion of New Zealand's cricket tour to Sri Lanka with the first two games ruined by rain and seemingly little chance of the third going ahead.

Persistent rain washed out any chance of play in the first one-day international overnight (NZT) with neither team even leaving their hotels in Pallekele. That came on the back of the Twenty20 international that was severely affected by rain.

It now means only 16 of a possible 140 overs of play have been played.

Both Bracewell and Guptill, New Zealand's Player of the Year in 2011/12, were rested for the limited overs games of the tour, although Bracewell is playing for Central Districts after being told to work on some technical issues.

The second one-day international is scheduled to be played in Colombo on Sunday night (NZT) but rain and lightning are forecast and the ground is also partly under water.

The Premadasa Stadium, where the second and third one-dayers are due to be played, has been under covers since Saturday and there has been no chance to prepare a pitch.

"Half the ground is submerged under water due to the adjoining lake overflowing and the water on the ground is unlikely to subside until the lake waters recede," a spokesman for Sri Lanka Cricket told local media. "It will be a difficult task to get the pitch and the ground ready for Sunday's game. If the rains cease we might be able to prepare a pitch for the game on Tuesday."

Sri Lanka is traditionally hit by monsoon weather in October and November, when 400mm of rain and strong winds hit the entire country, which calls into question why a full New Zealand tour was scheduled at this time. Floods and landslides are not uncommon at this time and a tropical cyclone is also hitting the northern regions of the country.

The West Indies' tour of Sri Lanka in 2010 was severely affected by bad weather, with all three tests ending in draws.

New Zealand are due to play five one-day internationals and two tests while in Sri Lanka.

- APNZ

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