Dew makes toss the boss | cricket | Hindustan Times
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Dew makes toss the boss

For the sixth time in this tri-series, a team that batted first has lost. And this is no coincidence. Towards afternoon, wickets at the Sher-e Bangla National Stadium offer bounce and assistance to medium-pacers, making it tough for batsmen.

cricket Updated: Jan 11, 2010 23:30 IST
Nilankur Das

For the sixth time in this tri-series, a team that batted first has lost. And this is no coincidence. Towards afternoon, wickets at the Sher-e Bangla National Stadium offer bounce and assistance to medium-pacers, making it tough for batsmen. Once the lights are on and the dew sets in, it becomes difficult for the bowlers to grip the ball, which skids off the wicket and comes on nicely, making it easy for stroke making.

So, once a team wins the toss and opts to field, there is little the other side can do other than delay the inevitable.

Only on two occasions have captains chosen to bat. Overawed by India’s batting line-up, Bangladesh batted first as they felt they were incapable of chasing a 300-plus score.

Already through to the final, Sri Lanka followed suit on Sunday. Kumar Sangakkara’s idea was to give his boys a feel of the bowling conditions in the evening. Sri Lanka crumbled, and predictably lost convincingly.

The conditions are known but the cold wave at the start of the tournament meant the organisers failed to gauge the extent of dew. The contests have not been on a level-playing field and the best that could be done was bring the matches forward by 30 minutes.

There have been earlier occasions when conditions have influenced the game. Day-night matches at the R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo have been influenced by the toss. Unlike here, sides batting second at the Premadasa find it tough. The ball darts around and results from the series that India played at the beginning of last year show that the team batting first won. Only once in the last 12 matches has a team batting second won.

At a time when the world is shifting its allegiance to T20, a day-night match at a venue where conditions change drastically once the lights are on is not a good advertisement for one-day cricket.