Unsafe pitch forces domestic one-dayer to be abandoned in Australia

Unsafe pitch forces domestic one-dayer to be abandoned in Australia

Unsafe pitches have forced games to be abandoned on several occasions, the most notable one being the India-Sri Lanka ODI in December 2009.

JLT Cup
Peter Handscomb of Victoria gestures during the JLT One Day Cup match between New South Wales and Victoria. (Photo Source: Jason McCawley/Getty Images)

A one-dayer in the JLT Cup, Australia’s List A competition, was abandoned due to an unsafe pitch. The venue for the game between hosts New South Wales and the Victoria Bushrangers was the North Sydney Oval. In the first innings, New South Wales were dismissed for a meagre 144, and in reply, the Bushrangers got to 108/4 in 26 overs. However, as play stopped at the end of the 26th over, umpires and match officials gathered to discuss the course of the game.

Eventually, the Bushrangers were declared winners by DLS method – they bagged the game by 35 runs. cricket.com.au was quick to tweet the result of the game. They wrote: “Confirmation that the #JLTCup match has been abandoned due to an unsafe pitch. Vics win on DLS Method. No decision made on bonus point yet.”

Bollinger top scores

The Bushrangers were tight in the first few overs of the game, forcing New South Wales to play some unorthodox cricket. Victoria skipper Peter Handscomb ensured that his bowlers gave nothing away. Surprisingly, No.11 Doug Bollinger was the highest scorer for New South Wales, with 30 runs against his name. The only reassuring phase of the NSW innings was when Nick Maddinson and Kurtis Patterson added 40 runs between them.

Mitchell Stark’s opening spell certainly added the firepower the New South Wales needed after a below par performance with the bat. The left-arm paceman bagged three crucial wickets up front to set up the game. However, Stark was the only bowler who looked dangerous and received no support from his teammates. By the time the game was halted due to the unsafe pitch, the Bushrangers were 35 runs ahead of the DLS target.

Unsafe pitches have forced games to be abandoned on several occasions. The most notable instance came in December 2009 when an India-Sri Lanka ODI was abandoned. Delhi’s Feroz Shah Kotla was the culprit in that case. The opening few overs saw balls snaking past the shins of the batsman, and simultaneously deliveries that jumped right up to strike batsmen on the elbow. Match officials declared that the pitch had “extremely variable bounce” and was “too dangerous for further play”.