Rains pose threat for India 'A', South Africa 'A' 2nd ODI

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Vadodara, Sep 27 (UNI) Fresh from their 1-0 test triumph, a spirited India 'A' promise a keen tussle when they take on a formidable South Africa 'A' squad in the second match of their three-match ODI series slated for tomorrow at the Reliance cricket stadium here.

But the organisers face the biggest challenge to get the ground play-worthy for tomorrow after 53 mm rains lashed the city overnight turning the entire outfield soggy.

Because of a similar ground condition, the opening one-dayer at the Motera stadium in Ahmedabad yesterday had to be abandoned without a ball being bowled.

Reliance ground chief curator Basudev Patel, who is working overtime along with 50 other ground staff and two super soppers to dry the soggy outfield, does not rule out the possibility of the second one-dayer being washed out if there is another spell of heavy rains tonight.

Even as the condition seems to have slightly improved with the city recording no rainfall since this morning, local met office has forecast one or two showers in the evening.

Meanwhile, both the teams who arrived here this afternoon by road from Ahmedabad, have decided to stay in their respective hotels as the nets at Reliance stadium were not conducive for any practice session.

Although India 'A' won the 2-test series 1-0 thrashing the visitors by an innings and 243 runs in the Delhi test, the Proteas have strengthened their one-day squad by bringing in five of their experienced Twenty20 World Cup players, including fast bowlers Albie Morkel and Johan van der Wath, and off-spinner Johan Botha.

An optimistic India 'A' coach Paras Mhambrey said his boys were high on morale after their victory in the recent triangular tournament in Kenya and remarkable performance in the Delhi test where S Badrinath and Akash Chopra hit unbeaten double tons and wicketkeeper-batsman Parthiv Patel smashed 110 to take complete command.

Though both the teams are evenly balanced, Mhambrey said youngsters like Abhishek Nayar, Suresh Raina, Badrinath, skipper Mohd Kaif and Pragyan Ojah, who are considered to be the biggest threat to the visitors, could take the side into the lead in the three-match series.

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