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Last Updated: Sunday, 23 November, 2003, 11:23 GMT
Sri Lanka claim rain-hit series
Third one-day international, Colombo
Sri Lanka v England

Play abandoned, rain

Groundstaff were made to work overtime in Colombo
The whole tour has ended up being a complete farce
England fan Barry McLaughlin

The final day-night international between England and Sri Lanka was abandoned when monsoon thunderstorms hit Colombo on Sunday.

It meant the series was won 1-0 by Sri Lanka after both games in the capital fell victim to the elements.

The weather was fine in the morning but deteriorated progressively from the moment the captains were due to walk out to the middle for the toss.

England now have no one-day cricket until 18 April in the West Indies.

England lost the first match, in Dambulla on Tuesday, by 10 wickets after being dismissed for a feeble 88.

The second was abandoned completely because of incessant rain so Michael Vaughan has now lost his first one-day series as England captain in unfortunate fashion.

He had led his young side to three previous series victories out of three.

Afterwards, Vaughan said: "It's disappointing. The rain that fell was very, very heavy and I feel sorry for the supporters.

"The two games in Colombo have both been rained off and I believe they don't even get a refund for their tickets."

"I am also disappointed for the team. We are a young side and want to expose ourselves in all conditions in all conditions and haven't had a chance to play any cricket.

Lightning breaks out over the Premadasa Stadium
Lightning breaks out over the Premadasa Stadium

"On Friday we were quite keen to play a 25 over-per-side game and it was the same today.

"But the weather and the conditions were nowhere near up to international standards."

England's players were recently joined by the Test specialists, plus new recruit Robert Croft, and they all watched the Rugby World Cup final on Saturday.

The likes of Nasser Hussain and Graham Thorpe will hope the weather clears up fast when the monsoon season finally ends.

There is only one warm-up match before the three tightly-packed Tests in December.

The one-day specialists, Ian Blackwell, Anthony McGrath, Vikram Solanki and Andrew Strauss, return to London on Monday.



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BBC Sport's Kevin Howells
"England will have to wait four months to put things right"



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