Rain plays spoilsport, SL-NZ match called off

Zeecric Bureau

Persistent rain at the Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium on Thursday resulted in the abandonment of the tri-series ODI between Sri Lanka and New Zealand.

The game was called off without a ball being bowled and will now be played on the reserve day, tomorrow. There will also be a fresh toss.

Heavy rain lashed the Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium when the match was just about to start at 2:30pm local time and after New Zealand captain Ross Taylor won the toss and elected to bat.

Anticipating rain, the groundstaff had kept most of the ground, including the pitch, under covers and there was a ray of hope for a truncated match after the downpour stopped for a while at around 4pm local time.

But the heavens opened up again and with rain persisting the umpires called off the match at around 6.20pm.

The umpires had earlier kept 8.15pm as the cut off time but seeing that there was no sign of rain abetting, they called off the match.

At the end of the first half of the tri-series, New Zealand and India are on five points with one win each from two matches and a bonus point.

Sri Lanka are on four points after their opening match win over New Zealand though they did not get a bonus point from that victory.

Sri Lanka took the field at the backdrop of off-spinner Suraj Randiv being banned by their Cricket Board for bowling a no-ball in the last delivery of their match against India on Monday to deny Virender Sehwag a century.

A six-member committee of Sri Lanka Cricket headed by its chief D S de Silva also docked senior batsman Tillakaratne Dilshan off his entire match fee after local media reported that he suggested Randiv to bowl the no-ball.

Captain Kumar Sangakkara was also warned to ensure that such incidents do not happen in future.

India won that match by six wickets but Sehwag was left stranded at 99 though he hit the no-ball for a six.

After the match, Sehwag slammed Randiv for deliberately bowling a no-ball.

Randiv later apologised to Sehwag and the Sri Lanka Cricket officials did the same to Indian team management which declared the episode a "closed chapter". The Indian Cricket Board also made it clear that it would not pursue the case any further.

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