Goa ODI called off, Oz end winless India tour

Zeecric Bureau

Margao: Australia’s hope of a maiden victory on their tour of India was dealt a huge blow as torrential rainfall washed out the third and final ODI at Margao on Sunday. The wash-out meant that India won the series 1-0, their first bilateral ODI series victory at home against the Aussies in over two decades.

This is also the first time since the 1979-80 tour that an Australian team will leave India without a single victory under their belt including the tour games.

While the Australians drew the tour match against the Board President’s eleven, they lost the two-match Test series 2-0 and lost the three-game ODI series 1-0 with the other two games being washed out due to rain.

Their was also a short tour in 1996 where the Aussies drew their tour game and lost the one-off Test.

A damp outfield caused by overnight rains forced cancellation of the third and final ODI between India and Australia without a ball being bowled.

India had beaten Australia by five wickets in the second ODI at Visakhapatnam on October 20 while the first match in Kochi on October 17 was washed out.

This was the first time that India have beaten Australia in an ODI series since 1998.

The series win by India is also the first at home in over two decades against Australia. The last time the Aussies had lost an ODI series in India was in 1986-87 when the hosts had won by a 3-2 margin.

Umpires Billy Bowden and Amish Saheba made two inspections of the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium ground at 11 am and 12:15 pm before deciding to abandon the match because of the wet conditions in the outfield that persisted despite the sun shining brightly.

In between these two inspections rival skippers Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Michael Clarke also came out to go around the outfield and were seen having a long discussion with the umpires.

The match was later called off without a ball being bowled, thus making it the second time it has happened at this venue.

The wicket looked in perfect condition but the seepage of rain water through the covers left outfield damp and slippery.

The morning though began with the prospect of a curtailed match being played with the sun shining brightly.

The ground was covered by tarpaulins overnight which protected most parts of it but still there were some seepages at the outfield. Super sopper was employed to suck up the water from the covers.

The match organisers, Goa Cricket Association, have already promised to refund the entire ticket amount through branches of Federal Bank all over India from October 28.

The capacity crowd of 27,000 sat through the entire rigmarole before trooping home disappointed.

Even the players of both the sides, except for the two captains, did not come to the stadium. The two coaches, Gary Kirsten and Tim Nielsen were also seen at the ground.

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