Zimbabwe-Sri Lanka ODI abandoned due to heavy rain, wet outfield
BULAWAYO: A heavy thunderstorm and a damp outfield forced the abandonment of the fourth game of the tri-series after just 13.3 overs in Bulawayo. Despite overnight rain and overcast conditions, Zimbabwe captain Graeme Cremer chose to bat again. A few minutes after the toss, a drizzle turned heavier to delay the start by seven minutes.
The Zimbabwe openers had begun in sprightly fashion despite substantial lateral movement for Sri Lanka’s seamers. Chamu Chibhabha, in particular, looked positive from the outset, punching his drives on the up through the covers before he missed an inducker from Nuwan Kulasekara in the fifth over that pinned him plumb in front.
Brian Chari was involved in another run-out when he clipped a ball towards midwicket in the 11th over and set off for a non-existent run. Ervine sent him back, but Kusal Mendis’ throw to the keeper was swift and caught Chari more than a foot short. Craig Ervine, who has struck three fifties in his last four innings, began fluently. He struck three fours – all through extra cover – in his unbeaten 30-ball 23.
A steady build-up of threatening clouds and lightning on the horizon forced the umpires to take the players off even before the deluge began. After a spell of heavy rain, the outfield had endured enough damage for the game to be called off after two inspections.
“We tried to give three hours for the outfield to improve with certain areas quite wet,” umpire Michael Gough explained. “The guys would have been in danger of slipping if we had played a shortened game.”
The result meant Zimbabwe had to win their final game of the round-robin stage, against West Indies on November 25, in order to stand a chance of qualifying for the final.