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ICC World Cup, 2007


Wet outfield Forces Curtailed Match in Antigua

31 March 2007

Bangladesh made a disastrous start and lost first 4 wickets for 37 runs

After an unscheduled delay of about 5 hours, the super eight clash between world champion Australia and Bangladesh is finally resuming at Sir Vivian Richard stadium in Antigua. The umpires after six bouts of inspection finally decided to start the match at 14:30 local time (18:30 GMT) and the match is curtailed to 22 overs a side.

According to revised playing condition there will be 9 overs power play, 2 bowlers can bowl a maximum 5 overs and the rest maximum 4 overs each. Australian captain Ricky Ponting won the toss and decided to field first to utilize the damp conditions.

Overnight heavy rain created some patchy areas in the outfield particularly at the square areas. Two big quagmires on the boundary's edge were the main area of concern for umpires in every inspection. Poor ground management and lack of initiatives from WICB caused resulted in longer delay than expected.

Wet outfield forces curtailed match in Antigua.

Wet outfield forces curtailed match in Antigua. ? Cricinfo

First, the "super sopper" broke down and then the grounds men lacked resources to make the field ready for play. Some ground staff even tried to soak water by jumping on pieces of sponges. The efforts were inadequate to say the least and as the sun was shining and there were good wind, the field was finally left to the nature?s will to dry up.

The reduction in number of overs might have increased the chances of upset by the Bangladesh young brigade. Bangladesh has got some exciting stroke makers in Tamim Iqbal, Aftab Ahmed and Mohammad Ashrafu, if they can rise to the occasion, another upset might be on the cards. It's now virtually a 20-20 match and we can expect to see some electrifying stroke play from both sides.

Australia made no changes while Bangladesh made one late change, Tapash Baisya the veteran right-arm medium-pacer comes in for Syed Rasel.

  • Khondaker Mirazur Rahman

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