Visakhapatnam: Heavy rains played spoilsport yet again, forcing abandonment of the second day's play of the three-day cricket match between New Zealand and Board President's XI without a ball being bowled here on Saturday. Overnight showers had rendered the outfield at the ACA-VDCA stadium soggy, and a fresh spell of showers on Saturday morning meant little prospects of resumption. The two umpires, Jasbir Singh and S K Sharma, consulted New Zealand skipper Stephen Fleming and his Board President's XI counterpart Virender Sehwag before calling it off for the day. Board President's XI were 23 without loss at the end of a truncated opening day, with Sehwag and Akash Chopra on nine each.
The umpires had on Friday announced that the match would begin half an hour early at 09.00 hours (IST) to partly compensate for the 314 minutes of playtime lost on the first day due to bad weather. However, the low pressure that had developed over coastal Andhra Pradesh brought in another spell of overnight heavy showers in the steel city. The groundsmen, who did a commendable job on Friday in making the ground fit for play despite intermittent rains, got down to business since early morning with all sincerity.
They spread sawdust on the wet patches, and used sponges to soak the water, and the super sopper was also deployed to dry the turf. But in the end, all efforts proved futile following a fresh spell of morning rains. Only 46 minutes of play was possible on the opening day on Friday, after the first two sessions were lost to the rains, and the on-field action could start only half an hour after tea. The Kiwis, who were keenly looking forward to the first side game in their itinerary, did some limbering up on the ground to keep themselves match-fit for the coming battles.