Kotla pitch crumbles India`s pride
New Delhi: In what was an ultimate embarrassment for the DDCA, the fifth and the final ODI between India and Sri Lanka at the Feroz Shah Kotla stadium here was abandoned due to `dangerous` playing conditions.
Right from the start, occasional deliveries reared up alarmingly and one such even hit Tillakaratne Dilshan on his forearm, leaving him in pain and needing on-field treatment. The Lankan opener has now been rushed to hospital for the doctors to take a further look at it.
The issue with the pitch was first raised by Sri Lankan batsman Thilan Kandamby, who after having a word with Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, approached the umpires.
Umpires Marais Erasmus and Shavir Tarapore soon conferred as Sri Lankan captain Kumar Sangakkara gestured his teammates from the dressing room.
Subsequently, Match Referee Alan Hurst walked in alongwith Kotla curator Vijay Bahadur Mishra and BCCI Pitch and Grounds Committee chairman Daljit Singh.
Sangakkara and Team India coach Gary Kirsten as well as his Sri Lanka counterpart Trevor Bayliss too walked to the middle.
Delhi and District Cricket Association officials, including vice president Chetan Chauhan, offered another pitch to Hurst but a finally, the decision to call-off the match prevailed.
The Sri Lankan innings meanwhile was in tatters at 83/5 as trouble and more trouble sought their way earlier.
Zaheer Khan, Sudeep Tyagi and Harbhajan Singh had contributed to blow apart the top-order of the visitors after winning the toss, Dhoni elected to field first.
Raina’s prompt and intelligent fielding also led to the dismissal of Thilan Samaraweera (2). More credit should be given to terrible running between the wickets by the Lankan batsmen, Samaraweera and Thilina Kandamby.
Prior to that, Bhajji dismised Sanath Jayasuriya for 31 runs. Harbhajan cleverly fired in the quicker delivery and caught Jayasuriya plumb in front of the wickets. This was Bhajji 100th ODI wicket in India.
As the national capital woke up to a foggy morning earlier today, the final ODI at the Feroz Shah Kotla stadium got delayed by fifteen minutes on Sunday due to wet out-field.
Having already sealed the series 3-1, Team India got the most of the Lankan tour as they first won the Test series comprehensively, and now, have also clinched the ODI series with a game to spare.
India went into the match without Sachin Tendulkar as Dhoni returns to the team after serving a two-match ban. Sri Lanka made two changes. Mahela Jayawardene and Lasith Malinga were replaced by M Pushpakumara and Chanaka Welegedara.
With both the team’s playing their last matches of the year, the Feroz Shah Kotla pitch curator promised a sporting wicket.
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