Sri Lanka 288-9 (Dilshan 81, Sangakkara 79, Matthews 74*) New Zealand 13-1
Result: No-result as the match was rained off after 4.2 overs in the New Zealand innings.
The opening One Day International between Sri Lanka and the BLACKCAPS has finished as a no-result, with rain bringing a premature ending to the match at Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium in Hambantota.
Sri Lanka produced a competitive total of 288-9 in the first innings, with Kumar Sangakkara (79), Tilikaratne Dilshan (81) and Angelo Matthews (74*) the main contributors.
In reply New Zealand were 13-1 after 4.2 overs, with Tom Latham (4*) and Rob Nicol (1*) at the crease before the rain settled in. Anton Devcich had been the sole wicket to go, falling victim to a venomous Lasith Malinga (below, left) yorker.
Earlier, BLACKCAPS captain Kyle Mills had won the toss and opted to take first crack with the ball. He backed up his decision immediately, trapping Dimuth Karunaratne lbw off the very first ball.
That brought together the vastly experienced pair of Dilshan and Sangakkara and the two senior statesmen proceeded to put on a classy partnership worth 137 for the second wicket.
Sangakkara looked in vintage touch, playing his usual array of elegant strokes to reach 50 from 51 balls. He looked destined for a big total, but was undone in the 26th over when he chipped a Devcich delivery to Nathan McCullum at mid-wicket.
His departure brought the equally dangerous Mahela Jayawardene to the crease, but he too would be undone by Devcich. Following a tight over from McCullum, Jayawardene looked to relieve some pressure and came down the wicket. He didn’t connect properly though, only managing to loft it to Rob Nicol at long-off.
Dilshan meanwhile had continued to tick over the scoring and found an able new partner in Mathews. Together they pushed Sri Lanka through to 197-3, before Dilshan fell playing his trademark scoop shot off the bowling of Corey Anderson.
The final 10 overs saw five wickets fall and 72 runs added, with Mathews making the bulk of those for Sri Lanka. The 26-year-old raced to his 16th ODI half-century off 47 balls and remained through to the end.
Mills picked up two late wickets to claim figures of three for 49 from nine overs, but the BLACKCAPS best bowler was arguably Devcich (above), who tightened the screws in the middle overs and finished with two for 33 from 10 overs.
It’ll now be a best of two series, with the second match starting on Tuesday at 10pm (NZ time).