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Guwahati one-dayer a dampener

The rain god dealt a 'KO' punch as the fifth India-England tie was called off due to poor outfield conditions.

india Updated: Apr 09, 2006 15:46 IST

After the loss at Kochi, the England team was mighty glad that the fifth tie was scheduled at Guwahati. Flintoff might haveeven secretly imagined England winning on Sunday.

However, the rain god dealt him a 'KO' punch!

After fours hours of dillydallying by the on-field umpires and sincere efforts by the ground staff, the play was finally abandoned at 1:15 IST at Nehru Stadium due to 'unfit' ground conditions.

Following days of incessant pre-monsoon showers and hailstrom, Guwahati never looked fit enough to host even a twenty20 game let alone a full-blooded one day international.

Early morning drizzle meant that the only sport that could have possibly been played was water-cricket!

Chopper entertains

The grounds men worked hard with supersopers and even roped in a chopper to fan-dry the outfield. But the damage to the pitch and the areas close to it was too much.

The chopper failed to have an impact but the spectators were treated to some entertainment with MS Singh Dhoni and Irfan Pathan taking an unscheduled flying expedition.

The modest turnout broke into spontaneous applause, clearly not aware at that time they would have to go back without witnessing any real action.

After two pitch reviews proved inconclusive, the crowd started to get impatient. When the final inspection abandoned play, things turned hostile.

Crowd turns unruly

The angry crowd turned berserk and burned down anything that came their way. Cricket-hungry Guwahati had not witnessed any one-dayer for the past 3 years and they were not going to leave without any cricket.

After 15 minutes of fury, the police were called in to try and control the spectators. They finally managed to clear the mess but not before facing a volley of bottles flung at them.

With five games through, England have only two more left to come back in the series and salvage pride. The next two matches are scheduled in Jamshedpur and Indore, where the weather is expected to be unbearably hot and humid.

Things look bleak for the tourists!

First Published: Apr 09, 2006 08:51 IST