T20 World Cup: Pundits slam New York's drop-in pitch used for SA vs SL game

Batters had a tough time on a sticky surface that showed occasional signs of inconsistent bounce

By Web Desk
June 03, 2024
Nassau County International Cricket Stadium's pitch. - ICC

Several cricket analysts and players have criticised the conditions at the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium in New York, following a low-scoring T20 World Cup match between Sri Lanka and South Africa.

After winning the toss and choosing to bat first, Anrich Nortje-led South Africa's attack bowled Sri Lanka out for 77 runs in 19.1 overs. It took South Africa 16.2 overs to attain their mark; only six fours were scored in the entire match.

Batters had a tough time on a sticky surface that showed occasional signs of inconsistent bounce.

Scoring was tough for both teams on a sticky surface that showed occasional signs of inconsistent bounce. A lush outfield that took pace off every ball struck along the ground made it even harder to score. The game saw a total of 157 runs scored at a run rate of 4.42 runs per over, which was the lowest run rate in any men's T20 World Cup match.

The stadium, which was constructed specifically for this competition, will host seven more group stage matches, the main one being Saturday's match between India and Pakistan.

Former South Africa captain Faf du Plessis described the pitch as “spicy”, while renowned cricket analyst Prasanna Agoram called the wicket “terrible”.

Meanwhile, few more pundits gave their two cents on a horrible introduction of cricket in New York.

In a dismal batting performance, Sri Lanka's top order crumbled under the fierce South African bowling attack. Pathum Nissanka, opening the innings, fell cheaply, caught by Heinrich Klaasen off Ottneil Baartman Baartman for just 3 runs.

Kusal Mendis showed some resilience, scoring 19 runs off 30 balls, but his efforts ended with Anrich Nortje dismissing him. Kamindu Mendis also struggled, contributing only 11 runs.

Captain Wanindu Hasaranga and Sadeera Samarawickrama both departed without scoring. Charith Asalanka managed just 6 runs before falling to Nortje, leaving the team in a dire state.

Angelo Mathews provided a glimmer of hope with an unbeaten 16, including two sixes, but it was too little to salvage the innings. Dasun Shanaka's 9 runs were also not enough.

Nortje bagged impressive figures of 4/7 while Keshav Maharaj took 2/22. Kagiso Rabada ended with figures for 2/21.

The Proteas chased the target of 78 in the 17th over. Quinton de Kock was the top-scorer for South Africa, making 20 off 27. Heinrich Klassen remained unbeaten on 19*.

Sri Lanka's skipper Wanindu Hasaranga took two wickets for 22 runs while Nuwan Thushara and Dasun Shanaka bagged a wicket apiece.