New Zealand cricketers captain Ross Taylor and Andrew Ellis were taken to hospital in Sri Lanka last night after battling dehydration and gastro-enteritis during and after their ODI loss in Pallekele early yesterday.
Ellis appeared the worse affected. He batted in the New Zealand innings of the second game of the five-match rubber, but was sent to the team hotel at the start of Sri Lanka's reply.
Taylor hit a brisk 72 in NZ's useful 250 for six but was clearly unwell during the latter part of his innings.
Sri Lanka won the game by 14 runs when Duckworth Lewis rules came into play after the match was stopped by rain.
In the morning (local time), both players showed signs of dehydration and were sent to hospital.
They were expected to return to the team hotel after a few hours but while Taylor was thought likely to have recovered sufficiently to lead NZ in the third ODI starting late tonight (NZT), Canterbury allrounder Ellis's condition made his fitness for the game more problematic.
New Zealand had every reason to feel aggrieved when the rain arrived yesterday.
They had Sri Lanka wobbling at 118 for three chasing New Zealand's best ODI score in that country.
It's no secret that Sri Lanka don't bat that low. They rely heavily on their Big Three, captain Mahela Jayawardene, lefthander Kumar Sangakkara and opener Tillekaratne Dilshan.
Two of those three had gone before the rain, the pitch wasn' t especially easy and New Zealand's tails were up.
"We were pretty confident we were going to have a decent crack at it," coach Mike Hesson said.
Still, that's life when you're forced to endure a schedule foisted on you by hosts who have argued unconvincingly that their hands were tied on timing due to commitments for both countries.
In addition to the ill duo, New Zealand are unlikely to decide until shortly before the match whether key player Brendon McCullum is fit to play tonight, having sat out yesterday's game with a painful back.
Rain has either washed out completely or significantly affected all three games so far.By David Leggat Email David