A 24-over match had begun after an initial three-hour-and-forty-minute rain delay, but the teams could only get through nine overs before bad weather returned to wash out play in Nelson. New Zealand had moved to 75 for 3 in that time, with Martin Guptill and Ross Taylor having provided rapid innings.
Spectators arriving at the ground as play began were at least treated to a glimpse of the themes that have defined the series so far. Guptill launched three sixes off Dushmantha Chameera to plunder 26 runs off the third over of the innings. Then Sri Lanka struck back. Tom Latham was out nicking Thisara Perera to the wicketkeeper, then Guptill himself was nailed on the boot by a swinging Nuwan Kulasekara yorker that was headed for middle stump.
Guptill gone, Angelo Mathews brought Chameera back into the attack, and was rewarded with the wicket of Kane Williamson. Aiming a leg-side shot, Williamson was through the stroke too early. The leading edge carried to the bowler in his follow-through.