The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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It’s a washout, replay today

Dhaka: The memories of Colombo’s Premadasa during last September’s ICC Champions Trophy must have crossed Sourav Ganguly’s mind as he sat forlorn in the dressing-room balcony. The weathergods had ruined their chances in the final on two consecutive days. They were sitting pretty on both occasions against Sri Lanka but the trophy had to be shared.

Watching the thunderstorm rock the city half-an-hour prior to the start of the TVS Cup final afternoon, it was only logical that play would not be possible Sunday. Though the decision came as late as half-past four, the Indians left the field a little after three.

As per tournament rules, the finalists will be declared joint winners in case there is another washout on the reserve day (Monday). The forecast predicts cloudy skies and intermittent showers.

The outfield remained slushy till late in the evening despite best efforts of the groundstaff who had the services of the super sopper. Thankfully, there was no leakage onto the pitch when the covers were removed for a final inspection by Match Referee Clive Lloyd.

The downpour could act as a blessing in disguise for the Indians. Zaheer Khan, who was ready to take the field Sunday after recovering from a hamstring injury and viral fever, will get an extra day’s rest.

Sourav and Co. will be praying for a full 50-over game Monday because the unpredictability factor always comes into play in a truncated game. The Indians firmly believe they are the better team and would like to prove that on the field to instil confidence in the youngsters and wipe away memories of the World Cup final debacle.

It is likely that the thinktank will decide against experimenting with Parthiv Patel as opener because of the uncertain weather. “It’s better to have a specialist opener in place in the event of a truncated game,” said a source.

Zaheer, Amit Mishra and Yuvraj Singh are certainties for Monday with Sanjay Bangar and Sarandeep Singh sitting it out. The choice will be between Avishkar Salvi and Ajit Agarkar, with the youngster having an edge. The decision, though, will only be taken in the morning.

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