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Last Updated: Friday, 21 November, 2003, 12:15 GMT
England match washed out
Second one-day international, Colombo
Sri Lanka v England

Play abandoned, rain

England's Chris Read stares ruefully at the state of the wicket
England's Chris Read stares ruefully at the state of the wicket
England's day-night match against Sri Lanka has been washed out because of persistent rain in Colombo.

Despite the ground being covered in sunshine much of the time on Friday, late monsoons had left a poorly-covered outfield drenched.

Attempts to dry the worst-hit places resulted in numerous mud patches and underfoot conditions were poor.

Umpires made a final inspection at 5.45pm local time (1145 GMT) and play was called off moments later.

There is one fixture left in the series, which Sri Lanka lead 1-0, on Sunday. It is due to be played at the same Premadasa Stadium.

"We were looking to wrap up the series here," home captain Marvan Atapattu commented.

"The sad part was that the pitch was in perfect shape but a large portion of the outfield almost under the scoreboard was too muddy."

Although Sri Lanka were keen to play a rescheduled match on Saturday, England declined the offer.

It means they must hope there is play on Sunday, and win that game, to avoid losing their first one-day series of four under Michael Vaughan's captaincy.

Groundsmen seemed to be fighting a losing battle
Groundsmen seemed to be fighting a losing battle on Friday

They will be without James Anderson on Sunday and both he and Steve Harmison are ruled out of the first Test of three matches - all packed into a three-week period in December.

In recent days, the Sri Lankan capital has been regularly hit by heavy afternoon rain.

Vaughan said: "There are a hell of a lot of English people here and sadly they are not seeing any cricket.

"We could have waited an hour-and-a-half and tried to play 25 overs per side but the locals tell me it's not going to improve.

"I just hope the ground is covered properly for Sunday. It's a bit like a bog out there and obviously the covering out there hasn't worked."

England intend to practice on Saturday morning in the assumption that there will be play on Sunday.

Then they will watch the World Cup rugby final in Sydney between Australia and England due to be played 1pm Sri Lanka time.


Sri Lanka (from): Marvan Atapattu (captain), Sanath Jayasuriya, Mahela Jayawardene, TM Dilshan, Upul Chandana, Kumar Dharmasena, Muttiah Muralitharan, Chamara Silva, Nuwan Kulasekara, Chaminda Vaas, Romesh Kaluwitharana, Dinusha Fernando.

England (probable): Michael Vaughan (captain), Ian Blackwell, Rikki Clarke, Paul Collingwood, Andrew Flintoff, Ashley Giles, Richard Johnson, James Kirtley, Chris Read, Andrew Strauss, Marcus Trescothick.



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England captain Michael Vaughan
"We haven't had much practice and only game here due to the rain"



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