South Africa v India, 1st Test, Centurion, 1st day December 16, 2010

Wet weather delays start of Test series


Wet weather delayed the start of the first Test between South Africa and India in Centurion, and persistent rain for more than 24 hours threatened to wash out the first day of play.

Between 30 and 50 millimetres of rain poured down over Centurion since Tuesday. The downpour subsided and the rain was nothing more than a light drizzle by mid-morning. Sporadic bursts were still intermittently interrupting the soft sprinkle. The rain is set to continue into the afternoon although it will get lighter as the day goes on. By Thursday evening, the skies are expected to clear with sun predicted for all of Friday.

Some may think that SuperSport Park will need all the sunshine it can get, but chief groundsman Hilbert Smit said the drainage system is very good. "It will take two to three hours after the rain stops before it will be completely dry," he told ESPNcricinfo.

The super-sopper was ready for action as well but can only be used once the rain has stopped completely. "It will be pointless to send it out now," Smit said. Some work was being done on the outfield where ankle-deep puddles had collected at the boundary rope. The groundstaff were working to guide the water down the drains into the moat. The rest of the outfield, while wet, had no water collected on it.

It's a testament to the excellent facilities Smit made mention of. The extent of the flash flooding around the area, though, was grave and people parked at the Hennops River end of the ground were asked to evacuate their cars because the area was flooded. The square remained covered and a tent had been erected over the pitch, to allow the groundsmen room to work. "We are cutting and rolling at the moment, and keeping an eye on the pitch," Smit said.

An entire Test has never been washed out in Centurion or anywhere else in South Africa, which bodes well for the prospects of this match, although play may only start on the second day. Seven Test matches have been washed out in cricket history and South Africa have not featured in any of them. India were involved in the in the last match to be rained out, against New Zealand in 1998.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on December 16, 2010, 15:33 GMT

    Well in comparison of two teams and if you see overall team combination South Africa is far better then India. Its not the matter of number 1 or number 2. India played so many cricket in sub continent and playing with SriLanka which gives them a big favor to remain on number 1 spot and i personally think that India will get a tough time and bit hammering in south Africa as we always see comments from India that HEY LISTEN WE ARE NUMBER 1 WE ARE NUMBER 1...peace guys i know guys from India will not like my comment but it is my opinion so PEACE :)

  • Dummy4 on December 16, 2010, 12:50 GMT

    @Dilip Senth...hello mate, dot u think you're pushing the patriotic whim a little too far here? SA beat a 'weak' Aus team? It had Gilchrist, Hayden, Lee, Johnson(when he was actually good). I don't know which world you live in, but it's certainly not the same as mine. And SA actually WON the series against Aus IN Aus. Has India done that? No. So please, take your argument to a more constructive level. What have India done to get to No 1? Wow, they beat every one in their own backyard and SL in SL. SA have beaten Eng in Eng, Aus in Aus. Patriotism is good, but have a sense of perspective mate. People on these forums aren't fools.

  • Graham on December 16, 2010, 12:39 GMT

    Some of the Indian guys on here must really suffer from insecurity; why else do they have to keep on mentioning the Ashes during a SA-India series? Shame that the action in Perth is completely overshadowing whats happening (or not) in SA...

  • Dummy4 on December 16, 2010, 12:34 GMT

    hey atlast the match is startin

  • Santhosh on December 16, 2010, 12:20 GMT

    India will remain the top test team in the world. It never bother whether South Africa is playing or even Australia. India has the potential to win the series. Goodluck India...

  • Girish on December 16, 2010, 11:55 GMT

    I hope Centurion doesn't become CentuRUIN

  • mohammad khurram on December 16, 2010, 11:50 GMT

    in 8 matches against SA zk has taken 23 wickets with an avg of 38.73... so he wont take 10 wickets in each innings here. lets hope for play instead of resting on rain...plz

  • Dummy4 on December 16, 2010, 11:44 GMT

    India is the only team that challenged Australia during their peak drew a series in aus and almost drew another 2-1 (Sydney) .sa only won against very weak aus team ,even England won ashes against very weak aus team. during Australia's peak days drawing a series was considered big achievement.only India was able to do that.

  • Dummy4 on December 16, 2010, 11:42 GMT

    Good news is that the rain has stopped and the sun is out. Should get some play in about an hour.

  • Dummy4 on December 16, 2010, 11:40 GMT

    any idea wat match will be starting?

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