Match Centre


Scorer: Binoy George | Commentator: Sreshth Shah (@sreshthx)

8.05pm It's official, folks. The game has been called off. Too bad that the rain didn't relent. The third T20 will be played on September 29. Hope to have your company then. Cheers!

There will be an inspection and update at 8pm, although the rain hasn't subsided.

SHAHSANK JHA: "I m outside stadium... Its really irritating... Not even drizzling properly.very light rain bt not completely stopped. Now not seeing any hope for match. Hope for the best for 3rd T20 on Sunday"

SachinVehale: "...but it isn't in interest of fans if night match washout frequency is very HIGH .... " -- A 4pm game would've been washed out too, today! Weather is simply something we can't account for. And the less we think we have control over it, the better it is for our stress levels!

7.40pm From what we understand, the rain has reduced but there's no signs of a start anytime soon. When the first warm-up match was washed out, there was lesser rain than today, so overall, the signs aren't great for a contest. Nonetheless, stick around. If you're a fan our Ask Steven section, here's our latest edition.

wcpak: "@Shresth :Can you please tell us the cut off time for a five over blast?" -- Hey, we're checking with those at the ground. Shall update when we have something concrete.

7.30pm Thanks, Shashank. I've set up a direct hot-line with the weather gods, but have been kept on hold. As of five minutes ago, it's been drizzling.

SachinVehale: "Why can't matches start at 4 pm ? it's already successful in IPL. #tiredofrains" -- Fans will be at work/school/college/tuition, I would imagine? It's a weekday after all. Plus, 8pm is primetime for TV audiences. IPL games are played at 4pm only on weekends

7.25pm It continues to rain. Just for some change in luck, I'm handing over the controls to Sreshth. Let's see if his magic hands make the rain disappear.

Aman: "I wonder how the ticketing systems across the world works for women's cricket. In India they have always been free, but England, Australia and WI seem to charge for the tickets. Hardly anyone was there watching the game in WI during Aus v WI series. There was good crowd coming early for double headers when India played in SA and NZ. May be they could have had couple of double headers in Mohali and Bangalore."

Abhijato checks in: "I don't think it's a perfect system, but here's my twofold defense - (1) no air travel means matches can be played in lesser time with no loss of energy otherwise seen because of flights. Women's game needs momentum and back-to-back fixtures in one location provides that. (2) India is so densely populated that even the smaller towns have a *lot* of people. There will be no shortage of new fans moving in if there's affordable accommodations at the ground."

6.55pm Decent crowd in. They're all waiting for the covers are firmly in place. There's steady rain too, so we'll have to wait longer.

6.45pm Completely unrelated, of course, but if you're looking to dig in for a nice read while we wait for the rain to stop, look no further. Rahkeem Cornwall, quite a sensation in the Caribbean, opens up about his journey to the West Indies team.

Sumesh says: "Don't see the match happening, first warm up game was called off even with sunshine due to wet outfield because of overnight rain. I think drainage facilities are untested and not that great."

This is from just five minutes ago:

Mahesh: "Conducting women's game in same venue is more about saving broadcasters and travel overlay money. Even the more successful Australian team is doing it. They are playing all 3 T20Is v Sri Lanka at North Sydney Oval." -- The reasons are clear. Question is if it is a good thing?

6.30pm We should've been ready for the toss by now, but that's not happening. The covers firmly remain. Not much activity, we're told. On another note, does anyone else think the stadium resembles the ICC Academy Oval in Dubai?

Suyog, here's the thing: The ODIs are slated for Baroda. And not sure Rajkot is a venue worth considering because of the distance from the city centre, and also because even a 5000 crowd there may seem like the game's been played in front of an empty stadium.

Suyog: "Agreed, Shashank. They could have distributed the ODIs to Baroda, Rajkot etc. instead of placing all of them at the same venue. Probably 2 ODIs at one venue would have worked. With Indian domestic season starting and monsoons still on,would've been been a bit difficult to have all 5 ODIs across the country. however, that's the way IPL is played. So, it's not impossible."

Shashank Jha is 200 metres away from the stadium. "Not raining currently," he says. "Hoping for a game. The noise day before was incredible."

PK says: "All matches in Surat is a little awkward, at max two matches should at same venue, so that more people gets chances to watch their favorite crickets. Personally, I'm dying to see those classical shots from Smriti Madhana."

6.15pm The pitch and adjoining squares are under covers at the moment. There's no way the toss is happening in 15 minutes.

6.10pm The series couldn't have asked for a better opening. Nearly 5000 fans made the Lalbhai Contractor Stadium the place to be. Sune Luus, the South Africa women captain, even said "it was hard to hear myself" on the field. That's quite something, isn't it? Last saw this kind of fanfare in Baroda last year when Australia toured. Good to see the smaller centres being allowed a chance to stage these matches, but I just wonder if having all five games in Surat is overkill. Thoughts?

6.00pm Warm welcome all for our live coverage of the 2nd T20I between India and South Africa from the diamond city Surat, where there's been a lot of rain over the last 24 hours. Don't be surprised if the start is delayed or we don't have a game at all. The outfield has taken a pounding, and the groundstaff have been busy at work. More updates to follow. This is Shashank Kishore and my co-pilot for tonight is Sreshth Shah. Hoping for some encouraging news as we go along.

SA-W in India 2019-20 News