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Rain makes an unexpected entry

For a cricket buff, Thursday was a day to keep track of queer statistics despite not a ball being bowled due to incessant rain at the Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium. Amol Karhadkar reprots.

cricket Updated: Aug 20, 2010 00:43 IST
Amol Karhadkar

The beauty of sports lies in statistics.

For a cricket buff, Thursday was a day to keep track of queer statistics despite not a ball being bowled due to incessant rain at the Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium.

The sun was blazing when Sri Lanka and New Zealand arrived at the ground for a crunch encounter of the tri-series and there was a buzz among the few fans that they were "going to witness history".

It was the 1,000th one-day international to be played under floodlights.

Irrespective of its significance, the number did specify that the format has come a long way since being referred to as 'pajama cricket' when the first floodlit ODI was played at Sydney 31 years ago.

More history was in the making.

Soon after the toss, which New Zealand skipper Ross Taylor won, and elected to bat, it started to pour in Dambulla, which is supposed to be a dry zone during this time of the year.

After a half-hour break, around 3.30 pm, the rain gods were back in action and the game had to be postponed to Friday, the reserve day.

This was the first match to be called off due to rain at this picturesque stadium, which was specifically constructed to avoid rain-interrupted ODIs.

None of the 39 one-day internationals the stadium has hosted since joining the list of international venues in 2001 have been washed out.

There is always a first time, isn't it?

Since play was called off without a ball being bowled, the teams will start afresh with the toss on Friday.

Suraj Randiv, the off-spinner, who was suspended for Thursday's match after deliberately bowling the no-ball to deny Virender Sehwag a century on Monday, will still warm the bench.