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News

Snake and floodlight failure stop play in Guwahati

After the unwelcome visitor in the first innings, one floodlight tower went off during the chase

The ground staff remove the snake from the field  •  Associated Press

The ground staff remove the snake from the field  •  Associated Press

Two interruptions, one hugely unusual and the other rather more routine, brought Sunday night's T20I between India and South Africa in Guwahati to brief standstills.
The first took place at the end of the seventh over of India's innings, when ground staff hurried onto the field to remove an unwelcome visitor: a snake making its way around the Barsapara Stadium's outfield. According to a PTI report, the snake "came out of nowhere from a small unnoticed pit to scare Wayne Parnell at the extra cover region. It then slithered into the square leg region."
There were no further interruptions in India's innings after the ground staff whisked away the reptilian intruder, and the hosts ran away to a total of 237 for 3, their fourth-highest in all T20Is.
Then, in the third over of South Africa's chase, the players went off the field after one of the stadium's floodlight towers went off. Play was held up for just under ten minutes before the lights came back on.
Floodlight failures have been a common occurrence in cricket matches around the world - among other places, they've happened in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Australia and South Africa.
Snake-related interruptions have been rarer, but not unknown. A cobra stopped play during an England tour match in Colombo in 2013, for instance, and a red-bellied black snake held up play for 20 minutes during an Under-17 game in Blacktown, near Sydney, in 2009 - read all about that incident, as well as stoppages caused by bees, hedgehogs and… erm, burnt toast, here.

Karthik Krishnaswamy is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo