The fourth match of the one-day international series between New Zealand and Sri Lanka was rained out on Saturday, abandoned after just nine overs were bowled and leaving the hosts with a 2-1 series lead going into the last match.
Heavy rain overnight and throughout the morning saturated the playing area at Nelson’s Saxton Oval. When play began, the contest had been reduced to 24 overs per side and Sri Lanka won the toss and chose to bowl.
The tourists started strongly, reducing New Zealand to 75-3.
Big-hitting Martin Guptill was out for 27, made from 14 balls, Tom Latham fell for 9 and stand-in captain Kane Williamson was caught and bowled by Dushmantha Chameera for 12. Ross Taylor was 20 not out and Henry Nicholls four not out when rain returned after only 42 minutes of play, chasing players from the field again.
Umpires Richard Illingworth and Billy Bowden decided the arena could not be brought up to a reasonable playing standard in the time remaining.
The last match of the series will be at Mount Maunganui on Tuesday.
New Zealand won the first match by seven wickets, surpassing Sri Lanka’s 188 in 21 overs, and the second by 10 wickets when it took only 8.2 overs to overtake the tourists’ 117. The visitors had kept their hopes of winning the series alive, chasing down New Zealand’s 276-8 to win the third ODI by eight wickets, but now they can draw the series, at best.