Port of Spain (Trinidad) : Wet outfield, soggy conditions and a fresh downpour in the afternoon prevented any play on the second day of the fourth cricket Test between India and the West Indies at Queen’s Park Oval here on Friday.
While heavy rains and thunderstorms stopped play from post-lunch session on first day (Thursday), soft infield and muddy outfield made the slippery ground unfit to resume the match even after the scheduled tea-time. Before umpires Umpire Red Tucker and Nigel Llong could do final inspection for resuming play, rain gods returned to play spoilsport on the second day too, as the historic stadium does not have a super sopper to dry up the wet ground.
With prospects of play ruled out for the day, the Indian team returned to the hotel without field practice. Though it has been sunny and bright since morning, the first two-hour session was lost while the ground staff worked overtime to clear the damp outfield. “Umpire Red Tucker and Nigel Llong, who inspected the ground at 11.30 a.m., decided to inspect again at 1.00 p.m., as they were not satisfied with the ground conditions because the infield was still soft,” an official said.
Heavy downpour washed off rest of the game after 105-minutes of play when the hosts were 62/2 in 22 overs on Thursday. Unlike in the third Test at St Lucia last week, which India won by a huge 237-run margin on August 13, Windies skipper Jason Holder opted to bat first on winning the toss on Thursday. Opener Kraigg Brathwaite (32) and veteran batsman Marlon Samuels (4) were at the crease when rain interrupted the match ahead of lunch. The hosts got off to a poor start, losing opener Leon Johnson (9) and one-down Darren Bravo (10) cheaply to seamer Ishant Sharma and off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin respectively.
The visitors, eyeing to consolidate their numero uno status in Test cricket, went in with a different strategy in the match with skipper Virat Kohli preferring an additional batsman in contrast to his usual six batsman-five bowlers theory. With no let-up in the rain, the umpires called of the game for the day. India lead the four-match series 2-0, after the second Test at St. Kitts ended in a draw.
Brief Scores: West Indies 62/2 (Kraigg Brathwaite 32 not out, Darren Bravo 10, Marlon Samuels 4 not out, Ishant Sharma 1/7, Ravichandran Ashwin 1/22) vs India. –IANS
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