BJ Watling has perhaps been the only Black Cap to enhance
his reputation in Sri Lanka, something he hopes to continue in
tonight's final one-dayer.
The New Zealand team have so far experienced a terrible time
on the tour, with the amount of rain being matched only by
poor performances with the bat.
None of the four matches has featured its full allotment of
overs, with a combination of the Duckworth-Lewis system and
tumbling tourist wickets handing the hosts a 3-0 lead before
tonight's final hit out in the coloured clothing.
Watling has been one batsmen to buck that trend and, although
he will be heading home before the two-test series, the
27-year-old was focusing on putting in one final performance
before he departs.
"I'm happy with the form I'm in," he said. "But it would
definitely be nice to get one in the win column. We're just
looking to get a win out there and hopefully gain some
The Northern Districts batsman must have already increased
his confidence on the tour. Having played only sparingly
throughout a three-year international career, Watling has
staked a real claim for a regular place at the top of the
Black Caps' order.
He has notched two of the team's three half-centuries in the
one-day series while scoring 166 runs (35 per cent of New
Zealand's total runs) at an average of 83 during his three
His efforts have gone in vain, however, with his teammates
struggling to give their bowlers a target on any substance to
"We haven't been far away in a couple of games," Watling
said. "In the last one, we got outclassed by Sri Lanka. We
weren't quite good enough with the bat but I thought the
bowlers bowled really well without a lot of reward. I think
we're playing some alright cricket but we've got a lot to
That improvement is sought personally as well as for the
collective. Keen to add to his 15 ODIs for his country,
Watling was aware of what he needed to work on to make him an
indispensable member of the side.
"I've got some things to improve on as well and I need to be
a bit smarter at the top there and get a bit of a strikerate
going early for myself. Personally, that's something that I
need to address. I'm looking forward to the next game and
hopefully doing so."
And following the game, while the majority of his teammates
prepare to don the whites, Watling will return to New Zealand
where he will attempt to keep his touch with the bat and tend
to the other side of his game.
"I'll be heading to Gisborne to play against CD in a
four-dayer. I'm looking forward to putting the gloves on
there and hopefully getting some overs under my belt
wicketkeeping. Batting in the middle order should be fun and
I'll look to keep building on some form."