Underfoot conditions force umpires to call off play; South Africa wins series 2-0
A wet outfield due to light drizzle in the evening on the back of heavy showers in the afternoon forced the abandonment of the third and final Twenty20 International match between India and South Africa at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Thursday(October 8) without a ball being bowled. It meant South Africa won the series 2-0, having beaten India by seven wickets and six wickets in Dharamsala and Cuttack respectively.
The toss was scheduled at 6.30 pm ahead of the 7.00 pm start, but Anil Chaudhary and Vineet Kulkarni, the on-field umpires, called for an inspection at 7.30 pm because of the underfoot conditions. Two further inspections followed at 8.30 pm and 9.30 pm, before the two teams shook hands soon after a tribute video on Nelson Mandela and Jagmohan Dalmiya was played out on the giant screen.
While there was no rain in the city from 4 pm onwards, poor underfoot conditions meant even if three super soppers were used to try to make the field fit for play, the efforts of the ground staff went in vain.
The first game in Dharamsala was marked by Rohit Sharma’s century, and JP Duminy’s unbeaten match-winning 68, during which he hit Axar Patel for three sixes in a momentum-shifting 22-run over in a successful chase of 200.
In the second game in Cuttack, Albie Morkel, playing international cricket after more than a year and a half, returned career-best figures of 3 for 12 to bundle India out for 92 – its second-lowest score in the game’s shortest format. The match, however, was marred by crowd trouble, as play was stopped twice for a cumulative duration of 50 minutes following the spectators indulging in bottle-throwing.
Rohit headed the series batting charts with 128 runs at 64, and R Ashwin was the best bowler across two sides with four wickets.
The teams now head to Kanpur for the second leg of the Mahatma Gandhi-Nelson Mandela series for the first of five One-Day Internationals on October 11.