Sri Lanka lifted after ODI scrap against NZ

Reuters, HAMBANTOTA, Sri Lanka

Wed, Nov 14, 2012 - Page 19

Sri Lanka’s 3-0 one-day international (ODI) series win against New Zealand, despite being heavily affected by rain, has been the perfect antidote to their Twenty20 World Cup final defeat last month captain Mahela Jayawardene said.

Jayawardene said his troops badly needed to rebound after they lost to the West Indies by 36 runs in Colombo on Oct. 7.

“After the Twenty20 World Cup, when the guys were quite down, we needed to make sure we lifted as a unit and everyone did a tremendous job in doing that,” Jayawardene said after the fifth and final ODI ended in a no result due to heavy rain.

“It’s unfortunate the series has been washed out, as we would have loved to have had a good series, but [it meant] we needed to scrap and that’s exactly what we did,” he said.

Almost 300 overs were lost during the five ODIs and one Twenty20 international, but New Zealand skipper Ross Taylor said Sri Lanka had outwitted his side in the testing conditions.

“We knew there was rain around so there’s no point in dwelling on that. Sri Lanka played smart cricket and deserved the series victory,” he said.

“We need to work on all three facets of the game. Today was a start and hopefully we will turn the corner,” Taylor added.

In the series finale, Sri Lanka managed 123 for eight from 28.3 overs before a torrential storm broke across the ground.

New Zealand, with the opportunity to bowl first for the only time in the series, reveled in helpful conditions and Tim Southee was the pick of their attack taking 3-18.

Sri Lanka opener Upul Tharanga (60) was the only man to offer prolonged resistance, but Southee removed him with the last ball before the rain came.

The match marked the ODI debut of 19-year-old spinner Akila Dananjaya, although he did not make it onto the field before rain forced the abandonment.

The two teams are now set to embark on a two-match test series, starting at Galle on Saturday before they head to Colombo for the second Test from Nov. 25.