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Ground staff sweep water off the covers as rain falls before the start of the second one-day international cricket match between New Zealand and Sri Lanka at Hagley Oval in Christchurch. Image Credit: AFP

The second one-day international between New Zealand and Sri Lanka was washed out by persistent Christchurch rain on Tuesday in a further blow to the tourists’ slender hopes of automatic qualification for this year’s World Cup.

Sri Lanka, world champions in 1996, will receive only five points from the abandoned match, rather than the 10 they could have earned for a win, as they jockey with South Africa and West Indies for the final automatic slot.

10-team tournament

Hosts India and seven other teams will directly qualify for the tournament with two more punching their tickets via a 10-team competition in Zimbabwe in June and July.

New Zealand won the opening match in the series by a thumping 198 runs at Auckland’s Eden Park on Saturday. The third and final match takes place at Hamilton on Friday.