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Wellington ODI called off

Last updated on: March 06, 2009 14:19 IST

Incessant showers stopped a galloping India in their tracks in the second cricket one-day international against New Zealand, resulting in the abandonment of the game at the Westpac stadium in Wellington on Friday.

India were comfortably placed at 130 for one in 19 overs when rain disrupted the proceedings.

After two restarts, the tourists had surged to 188 for four from 28.4 overs when the skies opened yet again. Umpires Rudi Koertzen and Ewan Watkin, abandoned play at 8.15 pm (local time).

Three interruptions had reduced the 50-over game to a 34-over affair, frustrating the motley crowd which hung on patiently for almost four hours before the umpires put them out of their anxiety.

The teams move to Christchurch for the third ODI with India leading the five-match series 1-0.

Virender Sehwag (54) and Sachin Tendulkar (61), prudently playing second fiddle to his adventurous partner, put India in the driver's seat with a quick-fire 76 run partnership for the first wicket.

The hapless Kiwis were smacked all over in the first 12 overs as Sehwag, despite being hampered by a cramped leg muscle, spanked their attack with gay abandon.

Sehwag's 31st half-century came off just 36 balls and was studded with nine fours and one shot over the fence.

Sehwag's fall, albeit to a seemingly dubious caught behind decision by umpire Watkin, did not stutter India's run-rate, as Tendulkar and Gautam Gambhir (30) kept the scoreboard ticking rapidly, before another spell of light rain returned the players to the pavilion. 

The numbing 65-minute break seemed had its effect on the Indian camp as they lost Tendulkar and Yuvraj Singh in six balls.

Tendulkar, who produced his 91st half century in 424 matches, was dismissed by Daniel Vettori as he ventured to sweep the canny Kiwi captain. 

Tendulkar's innings was adorned with seven fours an a six. Yuvraj, seeking to step up the asking rate, lasted all but four deliveries, tickling Kyle Mills to Ross Taylor at  slip.  

Even as Gambhir and skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni set  about repairing the damage, another spell of rain stalledplay, reducing an already reduced number of overs from 44 (after the first break) to 34. 

Dhoni remained unbeaten with 23 (19 balls) while Raina, who despite his built, hits the ball as powerfully as a Yuvraj and Sehwag, made 13 not out.

The players of both teams, match officials and spectators observed a minute's silence before the start of play, in recognition of the attack on the Sri Lankan team in Pakistan this week. Players and officials also wore black armbands  during the game.

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