Netherlands v South Africa, Group A, Basseterre March 16, 2007

An hour's delay expected due to rain

Heavy overnight rain has delayed the start of play at St Kitts © Andrew Miller

A mopping-up operation is underway after torrential overnight rain at St Kitts left a sodden outfield at Warner Park and an uncertain start-time for the Group A fixture between Netherlands and South Africa.

Andy Atkinson, the ICC Grounds Consultant, told Cricinfo that he envisaged a delay of at least an hour. "Realistically we are looking at an 11.00 AM start time at the earliest [play was scheduled to get underway at 9.30 local time]. We are working with limited equipment, and it also depends on the willingness of the teams to play.

"South Africa want to get started," Atkinson added, "but already one or two of the Dutch have been looking a bit uncertainly at the conditions. They know their gameplan, and they know that with two wash-outs, they'd only need to beat Scotland to qualify for the next round."

The overhead conditions had at least eased significantly since the last of the rain at dawn, although there remained significant puddles on the outfield, and the grass remains extremely damp underfoot.

Andrew Miller is UK editor of Cricinfo