A dangerous pitch led to the abandonment of yesterday’s fifth and final one-day international between India and Sri Lanka after protests from the touring team’s captain Kumar Sangakkara.
Sent in to bat first after losing the toss, Sri Lanka had crumbled to 83-5 on a difficult Kotla pitch before the third delivery of the 24th over, from India’s rookie paceman Sudeep Tyagi, rose dangerously and flew past the face of batsman Thilina Kandamby.
It proved the final straw for Sangakkara, who complained to match referee Alan Hurst and umpires Marais Erasmus and Shavir Tarapore, and the players left the field.
Discussions continued between match officials and local organizers outside the boundary as spectators shouted slogans and abuse at the organizers.
The teams were whisked away from the stadium before the abandonment was announced more than an hour after the suspension.
Baton-wielding police cleared the stands of spectators, some of whom had vented their anger by hurling chairs.
India won the series 3-1.
Nearly two months ago, a one-day international between India and Australia was played on the newly-laid Kotla pitch, which India won by seven wickets.
This is the second time an India-Sri Lanka one-day international has been abandoned because of a dangerous pitch. In 1997, a limited-overs international in the central Indian city of Indore was stopped after just three overs.
The International Cricket Council then banned Indore from hosting any international match for two years.
Yesterday, alarmingly rising deliveries caused problems to the batsmen from the start and one such delivery from paceman Ashish Nehra struck opener Tillakaratne Dilshan on his elbow. The batsman was given treatment before play resumed.
Failing to cope with the bounce, Sri Lanka slumped to 63-5 as pace ace Zaheer Khan claimed 2-31 from his eight overs, while debutant Tyagi got 1-15. Spinner Harbhajan Singh (1-12) claimed the fifth wicket.
Former Sri Lanka captain Sanath Jayasuriya, who also featured in the abandoned Indore match 12 years ago, was his team’s top-scorer with 31 off 51 balls.
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