...And then there was rain
Ever since Thilan Samaraweera joined skipper Kumar Sangakkara at the crease, as watchfully as they had to deal with the two Australian spinners and the pace of Brett Lee and Shaun Tait, they had to keep an eye on the skies as well. Amol Karhadkar reports. Scorecardindia Updated: Mar 06, 2011 01:39 IST
Ever since Thilan Samaraweera joined skipper Kumar Sangakkara at the crease, as watchfully as they had to deal with the two Australian spinners and the pace of Brett Lee and Shaun Tait, they had to keep an eye on the skies as well.
The dark clouds were thickening with every passing over. By the time it started pelting down at the R Premadasa Stadium, the duo had guided Sri Lanka to 146 for three off 32.5 overs in the Group A tie against Australia.
In the end, the match had to be abandoned, leaving fans of both teams wondering what would have been.
Despite the weatherman's warnings, the rain had stayed away for the last two games in the Sri Lankan capital. And with one of the most important clashes in the group stage, even the Met department officials would have hoped they would be proved wrong a third time in a row. But it wasn't to be. Once it started pouring, everyone realised it wasn't going to clear anytime soon.
A spectator, who took his shirt off while entering the covered ground, produced the highlight of the evening as he first practiced a few cricketing strokes using his t-shirt as willow and then the moonwalk to create ripples in the stands. The abandoned tie will be remembered for Steve Smith's two brilliant efforts in the field that helped Australia put Sri Lanka under pressure. With Tillakaratne Dilshan being undone by Shaun Tait in the second over of the innings, the hosts were looking up to the southpaw combo of Tharanga and Sangakkara.
Tharanga cut Lee over point but Smith pulled off a brilliant catch leaping to his left. Mahela Jayawardene, who joined Sangakkara to resurrect the innings, then tried to steal a single by pushing Shane Watson to cover point. Smith zipped in, and the moment Jayawardene hesitated, he knew he was gone. And the fielder hit the bull's eye.