THE weather rescued a struggling New Zealand as the Twenty20 international against Sri Lanka in Pallekele was washed out.
After choosing to bowl first, Sri Lanka’s seam attack dominated the tourists who reached a modest 7-74 from a reduced 14 overs.
Rain ended the one-off fixture when Sri Lanka had reached 0-6 in response after just two overs.
None of the top six New Zealand batsmen reached double figures as they slumped to a disastrous 6-28 in difficult conditions.
It took late cameos from allrounders Andrew Ellis (16 from 10 balls), Jacob Oram (10 from nine) and Tim Southee (21 from 10) to add a semblance of respectability.
Right-arm seamers Nuwan Kulasekara and Thisara Perera bagged two cheap wickets each, along with spinner Akila Dananjaya.
Heavy showers marred Tuesday night’s game and the humid conditions when play was possible allowed the ball to swing considerably.
All of the New Zealand top order struggled, including Tom Latham who was promoted to open for the first time in place of the absent Martin Guptill.
Latham struck an early boundary before being bowled by Kulasekara while fellow opener Rob Nicol battled to a lone single in his 12-ball innings.
The heart of New Zealand’s batting strength – Brendon McCullum, captain Ross Taylor, James Franklin and BJ Watling – then managed just 15 runs between them.
The first of five one-day internationals will be played at the same venue on Thursday.