Wash-out gives India 1-0 series triumph

Wet outfield rules out any play in third international

Wash-out gives India 1-0 series triumph

Unfit underfoot conditions prevented any play in Sunday’s third one-dayer at the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium in Margao. AP

A bright afternoon on Saturday had raised hopes of some cricket, even if only a shortened match. But heavy rains later in the night put paid to the aspirations of a 30,000-capacity crowd that had packed the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium here on Sunday.
Having been exposed to sunlight on Saturday, some of the wet patches closer to the boundary had dried up considerably and had the rains stayed away, there was a great chance of at least a truncated game, if not a full match as claimed by curator Narayan Raju. Much to his chagrin, however, it poured and heavily, upsetting all the possibilities of some action.

After having a first look at the ground in the morning at 8.55 am, the officials – match referee Chris Broad and on-field umpires Billy Bowden and Amish Saheba – fixed the first inspection at 11.00 am.

After assessing the conditions, the trio scheduled its next visit at 12.15 pm, following which the decision to call off the match was taken, though the cut-off time to have any sort of match -- that is a 20-over game -- was 2.17 pm.

Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni and his Australian counterpart Michael Clarke too stepped out on the park with their respective coaches Gary Kirsten and Tim Nielsen in tow. After having a close look at the wet spots, it is learnt, they found the underfoot conditions slippery and hence risky. More so for Australia, who had only 12 players to pick their 11 from.

As if the organisers’ travails to get the ground ready for play weren’t enough, one of the sight screens collapsed with a thumping sound, stunning the packed stands for a moment. The volunteers did manage to raise the screen but tied it up to pillars at the press box, which meant it became immovable. The incident just went on to show the lack of attention to detail on the part of the host association.

Virat Kohli was declared the man of the series in a prize distribution function at the team hotel. Kohli had struck a match-winning 118 in Visakhapatnam. Dhoni later received the trophy for winning the series.

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