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Bouncy track for Saturday scorcher

Jamshedpur, April 5: The sparkling century by M.S. Dhoni today in Vizag, has set the stage for an exciting Indo-Pak encounter on Saturday.

With the two teams slated to arrive tomorrow, the city is all set to play a perfect host. Unlike on earlier occasions, the Keenan track for the one-day international on April 9 would have adequate bounce.

Prepared under the supervision of the ground and pitch committee of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), the Keenan wicket will offer assistance to the seamers.

According to Prabir Mukherjee, the east zone representative of the committee, and official in charge of supervising the pitch preparation of the Keenan, the bounce on the wicket would be uniform throughout the match, which would help stroke-makers to play their shots with ease.

He added that he had asked the groundsmen to roll the pitch in early in the morning and late in the evening. 'The moisture content on the pitch is more in the morning and towards dusk. That would help create the right conditions for the match,' Mukherjee explained.

Mukherjee said allowing the grass to remain on the wicket depends on the discretion of the home team management.

Barring one match ' India versus South Africa ' the Keenan pitch has always proved to be a batsman's paradise. If the predictions of the weather department are to be believed, there will be no respite from sultry and humid weather conditions in the next few days.

Officials at the Patna meteorological laboratory ruled out any possibility of rainfall in the next 48 hours in the city.

Cricket fever has gripped the steel city even as hotels are busy making last minute preparations to offer a grand welcome to the two teams.

Fortune Hotel Centre Point, where Pakistan will stay, has been decked for the special occasion. Same is the case with the Regent hotel, where the Indian team will be accommodated.

The former will be doling out typical food cooked by a Peshawari chef, Gautam, from ITC Sonar Bangla, Calcutta.

The Regent will be serving a wide range of delicacies, especially the Continental the Chinese food.

It has also made a grand preparation to give a traditional welcome to the players as a part of the celebration.

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