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Rain washes out series opener

india Updated: Feb 09, 2007 18:46 IST

A long spell of thundershowers late on Wednesday night had threatened to play spoilsport. It did not delay the start of the first ODI at the Eden Gardens on Thursday, but all through the 18.2 overs of the tie, dark clouds loomed large.

The skies finally opened up when Sanath Jayasuriya was looking in ominous touch and Marvan Atapattu had just started to get over the cheap loss of Kumar Sangakkara.

Sri Lanka were 102 for three soon after the first drinks break when umpires Simon Taufel and Suresh Shastri called for the covers to come on and midway into their laying, half-an-hour of torrential downpour killed chances of a restart. The lone super sopper looked lost in the flooded ground when it chugged out amid probably the loudest cheer of the day.

The covers came off after nearly two hours to provide some hope, but that was about it. After the second inspection at 8.30 in the evening the match was finally called off.

Eden Gardens had never witnessed an abandoned one-dayer and even Thursday's rain due to a depression was untimely.

Sri Lanka were put into bat by Rahul Dravid, whose decision was obviously influenced by the rain forecast more than anything else. And right from the beginning Upul Tharanga made his intensions very clear. Zaheer Khan's first over went for 13 runs. The first ball of the day straying down leg was caressed through mid-on by the left-hander. The fourth ball was dealt equally condescendingly, this time through mid-off and the left-arm medium pacer looked to be under pressure as the very next delivery went to the fine-leg fence past a diving Mahendra Singh Dhoni for five wides.

It was Jayasuriya's turn to unsettle Munaf Patel in the next over. Six runs came off it, the second ball hit over cover for the first of the 13 boundaries he smashed in his unbeaten 63 off 61 balls. Jayasuriya got to his 50 in 48 balls hitting Munaf for a crisp boundary to deep fine-leg.

This was his highest score on this ground, the previous best being a 55 against Pakistan in the Independence Cup in 1997.

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