Rain hits Indias only practice match

Published: Tuesday, October 30, 2001, 0:47 [IST]
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Chatsworth (South Africa): Indias preparations for the first Test against South Africa suffered a blow on Monday when the first day of a three-day match against a South African Board Presidents XI was abandoned due to a wet outfield.

The match at the Chatsworth Oval, South of the East Coast city of Durban is the only first-class warm-up fixture for the Indians before the Test series starts in Bloemfontein on Saturday.The match will now be played over two days as the tourists must be in Bloemfontein on Thursday to get in some practice at the Test venue.

After rain on Sunday night, the Indian team did not leave its Durban hotel, although team manager Mahendra Bhargava and coach John Wright went to inspect the sodden Chatsworth outfield.Play was officially called off after an inspection at noon.

The Indians did not name a team for the match but were expected to try out their Test opening batting pair of Shiv Sunder Das and uncapped Connor Williams, both of whom need match practice in South African conditions.Das batted three times during the triangular Limited Overs series, which ended in Durban on Friday, scoring only nine runs, while Williams joined the squad for the Test series and has not had a match.

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