Sri Lanka's ODI series win hopes ended by New Zealand rain

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Sri Lanka have been denied the chance of a stunning come-from-behind one-day international series win against New Zealand after rain forced the cancellation of the fourth match in Nelson on Saturday.

Only nine overs of the allotted 24 had been bowled when the umpires decided to call an end to proceedings after rain wreaked havoc at Saxon Oval, with the Black Caps 75-3.

New Zealand led the series 2-1 before the ODI was washed out, meaning Sri Lanka can only draw the series in the fifth match at Mt Maunganui on Tuesday.

Rain delayed the start of the match until late afternoon in Nelson at which point officials hoped to be able to complete a shortened game with each innings lasting 24 overs.

Play did not even last two hours before players were forced off the pitch by heavy rain and the eventual abandonment.

Before the rain, Sri Lanka made a decent start to the game, capturing three wickets for just 53 runs after winning the toss.

The Black Caps did well to build an initial lead of 37-0 before the wickets started tumbling.

Tom Latham (9) was first to go when he was caught behind after edging a Thisara Perera (1-13) ball.

Martin Guptill top scored with 27, but was the second to go after he was trapped lbw by Nuwan Kulasekara (1-4), with Kane Williamson caught and bowled by Dushmantha Chameera (1-32) less than two overs late.

Ross Taylor (20 not out) and Henry Nicholls (4 not out) were at the crease when play was ended.