India vs Sri Lanka | OCA prepares a 180+ wicket for T20 series opener in Cuttack

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India vs Sri Lanka | OCA prepares a 180+ wicket for T20 series opener in Cuttack

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SportsCafe Desk


The Barabati Stadium in Cuttack, the venue for the first T20I, is expected to produce a 180+ total, stated a source close to SportsCafe. The pitch preparation raised a lot of controversy following the Federation Cup and AIFF Women’s League football matches, which were played on the pitch.

While security measures have been tightened following the bottle-hurling incident during the first-ever T20 game in the venue between India and South Africa in October 2015, the pitch, too, has been in the spotlight. That match, in 2015, was a low-scoring one with India being bowled out for a paltry 92, creating a lot of furore amongst the fans and making way for the crowd trouble. Learning from the incident, the Odisha Cricket Association (OCA) made a completely batting-friendly wicket for the second ODI between India and England and the ground saw as many as 747 runs being scored in the match with MS Dhoni and Yuvraj Singh scoring centuries for Team India.

However, despite being allotted the T20I more than six months ago, the haphazardness for the arrangement for the T20I series opener came to the fore once again, as it was left in poor condition after hosting the Federation Cup, All India Football Federation (AIFF) Junior Women’s League, and Football Association of Odisha (FAO) matches until the end of September. The matches were being played on the centre wicket and although the OCA promised that the top-soil would be changed altogether. However, that did not come to pass and as a result of the same, the ground had been providing a two-paced nature just days before the game. Instead, the OCA added more clay to the surafce to cover up the cracks and used heavy rollers to make the ground match ready. 

Under the condition of anonymity, the source told SportsCafe, “There were enough cracks on the surface which provided uneven bounce and the wicket was two-paced as well. But after the ground staff added extra clay and sufficiently watered it, the pitch is holding up well and looks ready for an international game. Thanks to the last three days of effort and not subjecting it to the sun, the pitch is now expected to be a 180-plus match.”

This will be the second match at the venue in 2017 and in the previous match against England, the hosts scampered home after putting up a huge total of 382 runs on the board.

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