The curator at the Kotla Stadium in New Delhi got it wrong with his pitch for the final game of Sri Lanka’s long tour of India. The visitors were lucky to get away with only two injuries. Dilshan was badly hurt when a delivery from Ashish Nehera took off from a good length and stuck him a painful blow to his elbow.
Jayuasuriya was hit many times on his fingers and his shoulder. It was an appalling sight to see the uneven bounce at Kotla. The curator should not experiment with players. Sangakkara called his batsman back in the middle of the 23rd over watching the ball take off dangerously off the track.
The curator will be blamed for the abandment of this game, as many Indian fans turned up in their numbers, paid money to watch their heroes on a cold hazy winter morning. All they got was 23 overs of very unfair cricket, where the hosts were peppered off his experimental pitch.
The two umpires together with the match referee Allen Hurst did the right thing agreeing to Sangagkkara’s request that he cannot risk his players on these conditions. Sri Lanka was put into bat minus their star player Jayewardene, the latest casualty.
When play was called off the visitors had made 83 for 5 wickets with jayasuriya making a voluble 30 on very difficult batting conditions. Tharanga was bowled in the very first ball of the day by Zaheera Khan. Dilshan after struggling on this track, facing the uneven bounce was caught by Dhoni, off a peach of an out swinger off Zaheer Khan for 20.
Sangakkara was caught at short extra cover by Suresh Raina to give debutant Thiage his first wicket for just 2 runs.Jayasuriya was plum in front, guilty of playing on the back foot for a tossed up Harbajan delivery which went straight through.
The last wicket to fall was a foolish run out, in which Samaraweera fell victim to an uncertain call for a single which was not on. India wins the one day series by 3 games to 1. Sri Lanka despite injuries to some key players, was very competitive to put up a good show.
India and Sri Lanka will tour Bangladesh for a Tri series one day tournament scheduled to get underway on 4th of January. Do join us for pre match reviews and match summery on this website.