Cricket: Rain denies Black Caps chance of victory

The limited overs component of New Zealand's cricket tour to Sri Lanka finished in much the same way as it started - with rain.

Rain has been one of Sri Lanka's greatest allies in the series so far - all six games so far have been interrupted by the weather - and it saved the home side in the fifth and final one-dayer in Hambantota this morning (NZT).

New Zealand captain Ross Taylor finally won a toss and the Black Caps had Sri Lanka in deep trouble at 123 for eight in the 29th over when the heavens opened in the fifth one-dayer. Persistent rain swept over the ground, leaving officials little option but to abandon the match.

"It was very disappointing,'' New Zealand bowler Tim Southee said. "Obviously we turned out a very promising start with the ball. To have them eight down for only just over 100 was a very pleasing comeback and we pretty much dominated the game from ball one. It was very disappointing for the rain to come when it did.

"It was shaping up to be a good bowling performance. Hopefully we would have bowled them out pretty cheaply and been able to knock off the runs.''

Southee did a lot of the damage, picking up the wicket of Dinesh Chandimal with his first ball and finishing with the excellent figures of 3-18 from 5.3 overs.

Trent Boult (1-23) and Adam Milne (1-17) also chimed in with wickets on the bowler-friendly wicket to leave Sri Lanka in trouble and Andy Ellis picked up 2-22 in his four overs.

Opener Upal Tharanga put up the most resistance, compiling 60 before he was snared by Southee and captain Mahela Jayawardene made 24 before he was undone by a sharp piece of work in the field by Nathan McCullum.

Sri Lanka won the five-game series 3-0 but neither side has been able to find any rhythm because of the weather and they will both feel underdone heading into the two-test series starting in Galle on Saturday.

"The series so far has been very disappointing and, as a group, we have been very disappointed in the way we have performed,'' Southee said. "We wanted to salvage something out of the [one-day] series and to leave 3-1 would have been nice. It's a very disappointing way for it to end.''

It has gone well for one New Zealander, with BJ Watling named man of the series for his 166 runs at 83.

- APNZ

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