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March 12, 2014
'Threat of serious injury in conditions like this'
South Africa's coach Russell Domingo has suggested the second Twenty20 in Durban went ahead at the insistence of match referee Chris Broad, despite the captains and umpires agreeing the outfield was too wet.
The game was reduced to seven overs a side and while both teams were ultimately happy to get some match practice in ahead of the World T20 in Bangladesh, it seemed for much of the day that play was unlikely. After a delay of two and a half hours, play began and Australia won the abbreviated contest, but both teams would have been concerned about possible injuries given the wet outfield.
Domingo said he thought the captains Faf du Plessis and George Bailey, together with the umpires Adrian Holdstock and Shaun George had agreed the match should not go ahead. However, he said he believed Broad had made the decision for the match to be played.
"It was a little bit odd because both captains agreed to not give it a go because of the outfield, and the umpires decided not to give it a go," Domingo said. "I think it was overturned by the match referee. At the end of the day it turned out to be a great spectacle for the crowd, but there's always a threat of serious injuries when conditions are like that. But it's done now, and everyone's okay."
With both teams set to depart for the World T20 after the third match in Centurion and further rain expected over the next few days, it was not out of the question that the entire series could have been washed out. Brad Hodge, who was named Man of the Match after striking two sixes in the last over of Australia's successful chase, said it was a tough decision whether play should have gone ahead.
"It was a 50-50 call," Hodge said. "The problem is, you're leading up to a Twenty20 tournament which is pretty important and both sides would have been worried about injures. It was a pretty good game of cricket in the end ... You've come all the way to South Africa, you want to play cricket. You don't want washouts in all three games."
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