Rain wrecks ODI as Aussies, Proteas share points
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC):
Only a single over was possible as rain wrecked the seventh game of the Tri-Nations Series between Australia and South Africa, forcing a no-result here yesterday.
Asked to bat first, South Africa had reached eight without loss when persistent rain swept across historic Kensington Oval about 10 minutes after the 1 p.m. scheduled start, driving players from the field and bringing an abrupt end to the contest.
Rain continued unabated throughout the afternoon for the next three and a half hours before finally subsiding, allowing ground staff to remove the covers.
Personnel then worked feverishly to ready the playing area, but after two inspections by umpires, the rain returned and play was eventually abandoned at 6:30 p.m.
TWO POINTS EACH
Each side walked away with two points, leaving leaders South Africa having virtually qualified for next Sunday's final on 12 points, with Australia in second on 11 points.
West Indies, who play the Aussies tomorrow, lie third on eight points and need a win to pull themselves back into contention for a place in the final.
Afterwards, Australia head coach Justin Langer expressed frustration about the outcome.
"Whoever'd imagine you'd be in Barbados and you'd get a game washed out?" the former Test batsman lamented.
"In a tournament like this, it's frustrating. It's always frustrating when it rains. Cricket and rain just don't go together."
The tournament could be in danger of further disruption as more rain has been forecast for the coming week, with a tropical wave continuing to affect the island.
Another no-result, however, would be enough to send Australia through to the final, but a defeat would put them out of the tournament.
West Indies clash with South Africa in the final preliminary-round game on Friday.