Martin Guptill shines in the rain

NEW Zealand suffered a hiccup in its World Cup preparations, with rain saving the co-hosts from a potentially embarrassing defeat against minnows Zimbabwe in Lincoln.

After winning the toss and batting, opener Martin Guptill was the only batsman to get a start, making 100 off just 85 balls as his teammates fell like ninepins around him.

Captain Brendon McCullum (eight), Kane Williamson (six) and Corey Anderson (six) all failed, while Ross Taylor (11) was the only other player to reach double figures.

The Black Caps reached 7-157 before rain ended their innings.

Zimbabwe was set a revised target of 156 off 30 overs, but the game was eventually abandoned without a ball being bowled in the tourists' innings.

Guptill has struggled for consistency this year, averaging less than 30 in his nine ODI innings, but he said he had been confident his time would come.

"I've been feeling pretty good," he said.

"I couldn't have been hitting the ball in the nets any better than I have been all summer."

He also said he was confident the team had its combinations right, and would perform better in the final warm-up match against South Africa in Christchurch tomorrow.

The Proteas were also frustrated by rain in their match against Sri Lanka, but successfully chased down a revised target of 188 off 25 overs to win with three balls to spare.

After being sent in to bat, Sri Lanka reached 7-279 of 44.4 overs before rain brought the innings to a halt.

Tillakaratne Dilshan, the world's No.5 ranked ODI batsman, was the star for Sri Lanka, making 100 off 122 balls, his fourth century in his past eight ODI matches, although the game did not count as an official match.

Captain Angelo Matthews followed up with an aggressive 58 off 49 balls in his first innings for nearly three weeks out with injury and illness.

South Africa got off to a flying start thanks to an opening stand of 116 between Hashim Amla (48) and Quinton de Kock (66), before just scraping home.

Captain AB de Villiers was rested from the match after experiencing tightness in his right hip.

Sri Lanka will play Zimbabwe tomorrow.

Meanwhile, the West Indies turned in an abysmal performance with the bat in their warm-up match against England at the SCG.

Despite resting experienced fast bowlers Stuart Broad and James Anderson, England knocked over the West Indies for just 122, Chris Woakes doing most of the damage with 5-19.

Making the most of a 'greenish' pitch that offered bounce and movement, Woakes almost notched a hat-trick in the first over, dismissing Chris Gayle and Darren Bravo for first-ball ducks.

Lendl Simmons was the only West Indian batsman to offer any resistance, top scoring with 45 from 55 balls.

An opening stand of 70 between Moeen Ali (46) and Ian Bell ensured England had no trouble reaching the target.



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