Umpires hope to start Test after early lunch

Port of Spain: Umpires Steve Davis of Australia and Asad Rauf of Pakistan have indicated the opening Test between West Indies and South Africa could start following an earlier than scheduled lunch interval.

This follows rain delaying the start on the opening day of the first of three Tests between the two sides at Queen`s Park Oval.

"The ground staff is working really, really hard," said Rauf. "There are a few areas on the outfield that are still wet, and the bowlers` run-ups are still soft, so we are monitoring the situation."

The umpires have indicated they would ideally start the match at 16:10 GMT - barring no further rain - after they scheduled the lunch interval half-hour earlier.

"There would need to be some improvement in the weather, and in the areas around the pitch because we have got to be fair to both teams," said Davis.

With the Test series being played in the opening month of the Caribbean storm season, the long-range weather report on the eve of the match made unhappy reading, with scattered and isolated thunderstorms on the horizon.

It has rained steadily in the Trinidad and Tobago capital over the last few days, and when Davis and Rauf inspected the conditions just before the start, they found a soggy outfield, as well as damp spots on the pitch block.

The toss has not yet been spun, and no side has declared a final 11.

South Africa enter the Test series in a confident mood, after they swept West Indies in the preceding limited-overs matches, comprising two Twenty20 and five One-day Internationals.



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