Saturday, 10 May 2014 00:00
Sri Lanka will fly out of Dublin on Friday with the first series of their tour duly sewn-up. The RSA One-Day Challenge may not be the most prestigious of the trophies they have collected this year but Marvan Atapattu, the interim coach, will be glad to leave Ireland unscathed after the second game in the series was abandoned without a ball being bowled.
The skies that have brooded over the Irish capital for days drenched the ground overnight, and a damp patch on the pitch delayed the start. More rain fell throughout the morning and, although lunch was taken early, the prospects remained bleak. A thoroughly wet square and outfield forced the umpires to call things off at 2:15 p.m., the second time in three games the sides have been forced off without bowling a delivery.
Sri Lanka resume action at Chelmsford on Tuesday, ahead of T20, ODI and Test commitments against England, while Ireland’s next game will come as part of a 50-over series at the end of July against a Sri Lanka A team that is sure to feature some of the younger members in action this week.
“It’s disappointing that we didn’t get any cricket in, but you’re never in control of the weather,” Ireland’s captain, William Porterfield, said. “The umpires made the call when it was wet around the square even before the covers came off for the second time. It is just ironic that the sun has come out just after the game gets called off.”
With no more ODIs scheduled until three against Scotland in September, when the county players will be unlikely to play, the summer season is pretty much over for Ireland before it began. “This is the last time we’re together as a squad for a few months”, Porterfield said, “so obviously we’ve got to look after our own individual games and meet up again in September, October. We’re looking to get down to Australia and New Zealand over the winter at some point to help our preparations for the World Cup.”