AUCKLAND - The third one-day international between New Zealand and Sri Lanka was abandoned Saturday after frequent interruptions because of rain. The players were forced from the field for the third and final time with New Zealand, batting first, 145-3 after 28.5 overs.

More than three hours later, the umpires ruled there was no likelihood of the weather clearing enough for play to resume and the match was abandoned. For New Zealand Martin Guptill was not out 66, while for Sri Lanka Angelo Mathews had three for 21. New Zealand were rocked early when batting mainstay Brendon McCullum was removed by Mathews for 28, putting pressure on Guptill to repay the faith the selectors had in him after he failed in the first two games.

He overcame a shaky start, offering a caught and bowled chance that fell just short of Nuwan Kulasekara and twice sent an inside edge across the front of his stumps, before confidently accumulating runs. McCullum again blazed away in trademark fashion at the head of the innings, racing to 28 off 22 deliveries before mistiming a pull shot off Mathews's first delivery and edging the ball to Kulasekara at fine leg.

Tom Latham, another top order New Zealand batsman in need of confidence-boosting runs, proved an able lieutenant for Guptill. He put on 42 in a 99-run stand for the second wicket before being bowled by Mathews when trying to settle in after the second rain break. Ross Taylor became Mathews's third victim when trapped leg before wicket for three.

He appealed the dismissal but replays supported the bowler. Taylor left the field as the rain swept in for the final time. The seven-match series is locked at 1-1 with the fourth game to be played in Nelson on Tuesday.



M Guptill not out    66

B McCullum c Kulasekara b Mathews    28

T Latham b Mathews    42

R Taylor lbw Mathews    3

EXTRAS: (lb5, wd1, nb0)    6

TOTAL: (3 wkts, 28.5 overs)    145

FOW: 1-40, 2-139, 3-145

BOWLING: Kulasekara 6-0-35-0, Prasad 6-0-30-0, Mathews 6.5-2-21-3, Senanayake 7-0-30-0, Perera 3-0-24-0

TOSS: Sri Lanka

UMPIRES: Billy Bowden (NZL), Nigel Llong (ENG)

TV UMPIRE: Ian Gould (ENG)

MATCH REFEREE: Javagal Srinath (IND)