The Black Caps were 3-75 when the elements finally won out here on Saturday. The result means New Zealand lead the series 2-1 with the fifth and final match to go in Mt Maunganui on Tuesday.
The wet weather at Saxton Oval meant a wait of more than four-and-a-half hours before the first ball was bowled.
New Zealand, sent in to bat in a contest reduced to 24 overs a side, produced a bright start in the gloomy conditions before suffering a mini-collapse.
Martin Guptill provided some typical big hitting as he blasted three sixes in one Dushmantha Chameera over, two of them back over the bowler and the third pulled over square leg.
With Tom Latham also chiming in with a boundary, the over cost Sri Lanka 26 runs and New Zealand had raced to 0-37 after three overs.
But Latham was gone two balls later, caught behind off all-rounder Thisara Perera.
Soon after, Guptill’s quick-fire knock ended on 27 off 14 balls as he was trapped leg-before by Nuwan Kulasekara.
Kane Williamson, again filling in as captain for the injured Brendon McCullum, got a leading edge on 12 and was caught and bowled by Chameera to leave New Zealand at 3-53.
Ross Taylor got the momentum going again with three quick fours off spinner Jeffrey Vandersay, who was struggling to get a grip on the wet ball.
The last boundary took Taylor to 20, but it was also the signal for the players to leave the field, as the drizzle returned.
After another delay of just more than half an hour, play was abandoned. (Courtesy Sydney Morning Herald)