IPL: Indian Premier League 2009

Match abandoned because of dangerous pitch


dilshanIt was surprising it took them 23.3 overs to call off play because of dangerous conditions. On a Kotla pitch where the bounce varied from shin to shoulder in as short a spell as three deliveries, Sri Lanka had reason to be thankful that they got away with just two hits on the body that needed attention. At around 11.20am, one length delivery from debutant Sudeep Tyagi reared up to almost clear MS Dhoni behind the stumps. The Sri Lankan batsmen had had enough by then. Kumar Sangakkara, dismissed already, and Mahela Jayawardene, out because of a groin injury, were seen waving from outside the boundary, and lengthy discussions ensued.

Sunil Gavaskar didn’t seem too pleased with what he saw during his pitch report. He described the uneven sprinkling of grass on the pitch as a “hair transplant” with bald patches. When the ball hit the grassy areas it seamed and bounced, from the bald patches it died along the ground. What made it difficult for the batsman was that the lengths from where the ball behaved so drastically different were not too far apart from each other. The moisture didn’t help either.

Full of action, the 23.3 overs featured a wicket first ball; a dropped catch first ball of second over; blows on the elbow, shoulder, fingers; frenzied running; thick edges flying past third man; and wickets for Zaheer Khan, Tyagi and Harbhajan Singh. Dhoni, coming back from a two-match ban, was stupendous behind the wickets, getting his legs together for the shooters and reacting well to the lifters. Not one bye was conceded.

Zaheer got just enough seam movement to crash through the gap between Upul Tharanga’s bat and pad first ball of the day. Ashish Nehra could have got Tillakaratne Dilshan with the first ball he bowled, but Suresh Raina failed to hold on to a high catch at cover-point. Perhaps Dilshan would have rather that he had got out then going by the way he had to consistently drop his wrists out of the way of balls bouncing from just back of a length. One such from Nehra got him in the elbow, just over the elbow guard. The way he came down, throwing his bat away immediately, it seemed a nasty blow. He came back up, hit his first boundary off the 23rd ball he faced, but couldn’t last much longer. The ones staying low made it even tougher for him to negotiate the venomous ones.

Sanath Jayasuriya, 20 years and 1 day old in international cricket, fought it out, despite blows on his elbow, shoulder and fingers. He played two exquisite cover drives, but was fortunate in coming back without a serious injury. In the third over of the innings, his elbow guard prevented severe damage when one lifted from just back of a length and followed him too. Tyagi then showed him the vagaries of the bounce, hitting him in his shoulder in the 12th over. Four overs later, within three balls he had the batsman squatting and then nursing his finger.

Even after the players went off, it took the authorities - the umpires, the match referee, the captains, and the home association representatives - an hour and 10 minutes of debate before they officially abandoned the game.
Source:Cricket News

Image Source: Cricinfo

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This entry was posted on Sunday, December 27th, 2009 and is filed under Cricket, General.

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