Poor pitch cancels India-Sri Lanka one-dayer


NEW DELHI: Unfit pitch conditions at the Ferozeshah Kotla stadium forced the fifth and final one-day international between India and Sri Lanka to be abandoned yesterday.Sri Lanka, sent in to bat, were 83-5 in the 24th over when the umpires stopped play after a ball from debutante seamer Sudeep Tyagi bounced alarmingly before going head-high to wicket-keeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

Match referee Alan Hurst of Australia called off the game after lengthy discussions with the umpires and local officials, leaving some 40,000 home fans at the stadium disappointed.

News of the match being abandoned was conveyed through the television station broadcasting the game. An official statement from Hurst is expected later.

The match held only academic interest as India enjoyed an unassailable 3-1 lead in the series.

Hurst walked to the middle to speak to the umpires after Sri Lankan captain Kumar Sangakkara gestured from the sidelines to stop play after what turned out to be the final delivery.

Two Sri Lankan batsmen, Tillakaratne Dilshan and Sanath Jayasuriya, were hit on the body by balls that rose after pitching, while some other deliveries kept low.

Sri Lanka lost half the side for 63 runs by the 18th over, losing wickets at regular intervals after Upul Tharanga was bowled by Zaheer Khan off the first ball of the match.

Zaheer also had danger man Dilshan caught behind for 20 during an opening spell of eight overs in which he conceded 31 runs for two wickets.

Jayasuriya, who completed 20 years in international cricket on Saturday, made 31 before he was trapped leg-before by Harbhajan Singh.

Tyagi picked up his first wicket when Sangakkara drove uppishly to the cover region where Suresh Raina picked up a waist-high catch.

Sri Lanka’s misery continued as Thilan Samaraweera was run out for two by a direct throw from Virat Kohli.

Thilina Kandamby was unbeaten on 12 and Muthumudalige Pushpakumara was on seven when play was stopped. — AFP