Cricket fans hope the wet spell would make way for a dazzling show mid-field

In spite of intermittent heavy showers lashing the region since Wednesday night, cricket enthusiasts greeted the India and West Indies teams when they arrived here on Friday to play the second of the three-match one-day international cricket series at the ACA-VDCA Stadium on Sunday.

The commercial flight carrying the teams from Kochi landed at the airport under heavy rain, about 45 minutes behind schedule. But, it did not douse the enthusiasm of pupils of Sri Prakash School, who garlanded members of both the teams.

‘Sindhoor’ was applied on the forehead of each player. Every player was offered several marigold garlands. Secretary of Andhra Cricket Association G. Gangaraju welcomed the players by offering bouquets to captains Mahendra Singh Dhoni of India and Dwayne Bravo of West Indies.

ACA vice-president G.J.J. Raju was present.

The teams drove in separate buses, accompanied by police vehicles, and reached Novotel hotel on the Beach Road. They were received by the management of the hotel with a senior executive offering ‘kanduva’ to each player.

With heavy rain lashing the city till late in the evening, the possibility of the teams going to the nets on Saturday is bleak. The ACA is hoping the rain would stop as cyclone Helen crossed the coast on Friday afternoon.

The host organisation is confident that the match would be played as per schedule if there are no further rains, and in spite of the outfield getting drenched continuously for almost two days as the stadium has an excellent drainage system.

“Even if it rains on Sunday morning and there is bright sunshine afterwards, the match can commence almost on time,” said curator Nagamallayya.

Vizagites and many others coming from other places hope the match would be held as per schedule. They are keen on watching Virat Kohli score his third consecutive ODI century here and fireworks by Rohit Sharma, who touched a purple patch, and Shikar Dhawan.

Ardent cricket fans also expect a dazzling show by the Caribbeans, who are one match down in the series, to make the match interesting.

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