With more precipitation forecast over the next couple of days, South Africa might have been thrown a lifeline
The rain that had threatened to ruin the 100th-Test party of AB de Villiers allowed world cricket’s best batsman one day of grace, but on Sunday (November 15), there was no such luck as the second day of India’s second Test against South Africa was washed out without a ball being bowled.
South Africa had been bowled out for 214 in 59 overs on the first day after being asked to bat by Virat Kohli, and M Vijay and Shikhar Dhawan had motored along to 80 without loss in 22 overs before stumps, cutting the deficit down to just 134 runs and putting India in prime position to bat the visiting side out of the game – but the weather gods had other ideas.
Ominously, the forecast for the next two days also has rain. If the weather holds, though, play will start at 9.15 am, 15 minutes before the normal start time, from Monday onwards.
There was a sizeable Sunday crowd that had gathered at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium, and had play been possible, it was likely to swell even more, with tickets having sold well. But the day dawned gloomy, and it was clear from the beginning that play wouldn’t get underway at the scheduled 9.30 am start, with the ground under covers since the end of play on Saturday. There was a brief window of hope when the steady drizzle stopped and the covers were removed, with the possibility of play beginning an hour late and continuing for an hour beyond the scheduled 4.30 pm close if the weather held up.
As it turned out, about 10 minutes before the new start time, the rain came down again and only got heavier. It didn’t stop for the rest of the day, and the umpires officially called play off at 2 pm.
This was only the third time a full day’s has been washed out at the venue. The first had occurred in December 1978, when Alvin Kallicharan’s West Indies faced Sunil Gavaskar’s Indian side in the second Test of a six-match series. The second instance was during the third Test between India and England in December 2001, when Nasser Hussain and Sourav Ganguly led the respectively teams. Both washouts had happened on the fifth day of those matches, and both matches obviously ended in draws.
That news might bring some cheer to South Africa, which is already 0-1 down in this four-match series after a three-day loss in Mohali, and had faced the very real prospect of losing this match, and with it, any chance of earning a series win in India.
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