Kotla fiasco dampens joy of series defeat

Kotla fiasco dampens joy of series defeat


The game was abandoned after 23.3 overs, leading to unruly scenes in the packed galleries with incensed spectators hurling water bottles and chair covers and damaging the stands to bring about a shameful end to the five-match series which India won by 3-1 margin.
The relaid track at Ferozeshah Kotla was a virtual minefield as the Sri Lankan batsmen, unlucky to be asked to bat first, fended for life as odd balls reared up alarmingly.
The Sri Lankan innings was into its 24th over when Thilina Kandamby complained to the on-field umpires, which led to a mid-field conference involving Match Referee Alan Hurst, India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and his Lankan counterpart Kumar Sangakkara, coaches from both sides Gary Kirsten and Trevor Bayliss and the man in the eye of storm, Kotla curator Vijay Bahadur Mishra.
Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) officials, including its vice president and former player Chetan Chauhan, offered another strip to Hurst but the match could not be saved.

Today's incident was uncannily similar to the December 25, 1997 India-Sri Lanka ODI in Nehru Stadium, Indore which was called off after just three overs and the fiasco invited a brief suspension for the venue.
Sanath Jasuriya, who scored 31 today, is the only player to feature in both the games.
India went into the final match hoping to sign off with a win but conditions were just not fit for an international game.
Fiery Sri Lankan opener Tillakaratne Dilshan sustained a nasty blow when an Ashish Nehra delivery hit his forearm, leaving him rolling on turf and writhing in pain, necessitating on-field treatment.
Jayasuriya, who survived longest, copped quite a few blows on his upper arm and wrist during his 51-ball ordeal, while others were seen fending nervously.
For some strange reasons, play continued till the 24th over. It was only after a Sudeep Tyagi delivery had kicked up that Sri Lankan batsman Thilina Kandamby complained to umpires Marais Erasmus and Shavir Tarapore and the dead rubber was eventually abandoned.
But the official announcement came more than one-and-half hours later and by then the two teams had already left the venue, along with the officials.
Earlier, it looked a perfect winter morning for the hosts as Dhoni, back in the saddle after serving a two-match ban, won a crucial toss and his bowlers took the onus on themselves to vindicate their captain's decision.

Playing for pride in this dead rubber, the Sri Lankans watched in horror as the home side bowlers polished off the top half of their batting order inside 18 overs for 63 paltry runs.
For India, Zaheer Khan set the tone, ghosting the first delivery of the match through Upul Tharanga's porous defence. Ashish Nehra too nearly got Tillakaratne Dilshan (20) with his first delivery but an airborne Suresh Raina spilled one in cover.
Uncharacteristically subdued, Dilshan lingered to receive a nasty blow on his forearm when a Nehra delivery kicked off the track, leaving him writhing in pain and necessitating on-field treatment before Zaheer ended his uncomfortable stay.
Kumar Sangakkara's (1) was a brief stay that ended with the Sri Lankan captain becoming debutant Tyagi's first ODI victim and this time Raina was bang on the ball.
Sanath Jayasuriya (31), 20 years of one day cricket under his belt, didn't look comfortable but kept going, poking and edging all along before Harbhajan Singh got into the wicket column with his fourth delivery, a top-spinner that trapped the left-hander plumb in front.
As if it did not look bad enough, Thilan Samaraweera (2) fell to Raina's direct throw after an almighty mix-up with Kandamby.
The match lasted another 5.3 overs before it was brought to an inglorious end.

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