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Sri Lanka coach Nic Pothas says play should have been called off earlier

Sri Lanka coach Nic Pothas criticised the umpires for not stopping play earlier on Day 4 of the third Test against India in Delhi

india vs sri lanka 2017 Updated: Dec 05, 2017 19:53 IST
Sidharth Gulati
Sidharth Gulati
New Delhi
India vs Sri Lanka,Nic Pothas,Indian cricket team
Nic Pothas wasn’t pleased by the umpires’ decision of not stopping play earlier.(BCCI)

Already unhappy to be playing despite Delhi’s toxic air quality, Sri Lanka cricket team’s frustration mounted on Tuesday as they fought to stave off defeat in the third and final Test against India at the Feroz Shah Kotla. (IND v SL 3rd Test Day 4 HIGHLIGHTS | SCORECARD)

The visitors, 0-1 down in the series and set a target of 410 by India, lost three quick wickets towards the end of Day 4 before play was halted for bad light in the smog.

Sri Lanka coach Nic Pothas criticised the umpires for not stopping play earlier.

“Not ideal to lose three wickets (towards the end). It’s frustrating,” the South African told reporters after the day’s play. “We look back on the day, I think we did pretty well in the morning to extend our innings and bowled well upfront.

“At the moment, I’m just wondering whether it’s coincidence that we lose to a wicket to a seam bowler and all of a sudden the light is bad and we lose two wickets to a spinner and all of a sudden the light is bad (again) and we come off. Bit of a coincidence.”

READ | Cricketers choke in Delhi smog, doctors want ICC policy on pollution

“I’m sure the light meter is absolutely spot on. I’ve no doubt about it. But for me it’s just a little bit too much of a coincidence. We lose a wicket to seam and suddenly it’s too dark for seamers, and then we lose two wickets to spin and suddenly it’s too dark and we’re off.”

Sri Lanka lost opener Sadeera Samarawickrama in the sixth over, with Mohammed Shami striking the first blow. However, Shami vomitted showing signs of the pollution getting to him and went off the field after finishing that over.

Umpires Nigel Llong and Joel Wilson ruled at that point that the light was not good enough for the pacers to carry on. India skipper Virat Kohli employed spinners and Ravindra Jadeja struck twice in the span of four balls to leave Dinesh Chandimal’s side reeling at 31/3.

After nightwatchman Suranga Lakmal’s wicket (third dismissal), play was called off at the end of that over. The Indian camp had already criticised Sri Lanka for “unnecessarily” stopping play over pollution on the second day.

READ | Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma score half-centuries as India pile pressure on Sri Lanka

Asked if he had any discussion with the match officials on offering the light, Pothas said: “Nothing to discuss. They make the decision. They’ve a light meter. There’s a number. I’ll back their decision.”

Asked about Sri Lanka’s plan going into Day 5, Pothas said the batsmen would be expected to stick to their natural game and not try too much.

“We’re playing a very good cricket team. Momentum is a big thing in sport. Luck also plays its part. If they (Sri Lanka) are skeptical and careful they won’t last very long.

“They would’ve found themselves in the situation a lot and I don’t think there’s many fancy plays required. We’ve seven wickets in hand. The wicket is still very good. I don’t think there would be anything too confusing or perplexing about the way to go tomorrow.”

First Published: Dec 05, 2017 19:49 IST