Cricket: Mills left fuming as rain interferes

By David Leggat

New Zealand felt they'd been dudded after losing the final ODI of their cricket series in Sri Lanka.

With a chance to win the three-game series, after the first was washed out and they won the second, the now-inevitable rain interfered in the match at Dambulla, leaving the tourists a recalculated 33 overs to score 216.

However, to get through the 33 overs meant play in the day game running beyond sunset, which is plain bonkers.

The umpires called it off giving Sri Lanka a 36-run win, when New Zealand - overcoming a wretched start of 26 for five - were on a roll at 126 for six, courtesy of Jimmy Neesham and the in-form Nathan McCullum.

"To score 90 off eight overs at the end is something we could have achieved and for the game to end for bad light is pretty disappointing," acting captain Kyle Mills said.

"Scheduling the close of play after sunset does not make a lot of sense to me. It's a bitter pill to swallow."

Whether New Zealand would have got over the line is a moot point, but Neesham, unbeaten on 42, and McCullum on 35 off 19 balls, had put on a rollicking 63 in six overs when the end came.

"We were in a better position to win than in the last game," Mills said, of the last-ball win in Hambantota, which involved chasing down 198 in 23 overs.

New Zealand now prepare for the first of two T20 internationals at Pallekele, early on Wednesday (NZT).

Meanwhile, the West Indies have a problem with their leading bowler, offspinner Shane Shillingford, ahead of coming to New Zealand.

The Dominican, along with allrounder Marlon Samuels, has been reported for having a suspect action and must be independently tested. Failure to have the results submitted in 14 days could mean suspension.

In the meantime the pair can continue bowling. The umpiring team and match referee Andy Pycroft reported the pair during the West Indies defeat in Mumbai at the weekend.

Shillingford's action has a distinct snap in the bowling arm, but he has been their best bowler in India, and has taken 59 wickets in 12 tests.

- NZ Herald

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