260-plus would be a good score: Motera curator

Updated: 25 February 2010 13:27 IST

The Motera pitch, venue of the third ODI between India and South Africa on Saturday, may have something for the bowlers, the curator said on Thursday.

260-plus would be a good score: Motera curator

Ahmedabad:

Unlike the feather-beds in Jaipur and Gwalior, the pitch at Sardar Patel Gujarat Stadium at Motera here, venue of the inconsequential third and final ODI between India and South Africa on Saturday, may have something for the bowlers with 260 the par score, the curator said on Thursday.

"I expect it to be a good one-day wicket though I can give you a clearer picture only tomorrow as the process of preparing it is still on. There's not going to be much grass and a score of 250-260 would be a good total," Test cricketer-turned-pitch curator Dhiraj Parsana said.

India made 298 for nine and 401 for three in the first two ODIs while the Proteas have replied with 297 and 248 respectively.

Dew is expected to play a significant role in the contest that has become only of academic interest after India's comprehensive victory in the second ODI at Gwalior on Wednesday night.

"Over the last two days the dew fall has been quite heavy because of clear skies and little wind. If it's windy it drives away the dew. But we are prepared to counter it with the use of chemicals on the outfield from 7 pm on match day. We are also stopping watering of the outfield from today," Parsana elaborated.

Dew factor was nullified by Sachin Tendulkar's extraordinary and record-setting 200 not out at Gwalior though it was evident that the hosts, bowling second, were struggling to keep the ball dry due to the wet outfield.

India have lost six matches and won five at this venue which has hosted 17 ODIs.

The Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led side, which has retained its number two ranking after taking an unassailable 2-0 lead at Gwalior, has some catching up to do at the Motera ground.

India have not won a match at this venue since vanquishing the West Indies by five wickets in November 2002. They have lost all their last three matches here, all after batting first.

Pakistan beat India by three wickets in April 2005, then Sri Lanka emerged victorious by five wickets in November 2005 and on the last occasion West Indies edged out the hosts by three wickets during the ICC Champions Trophy clash in October 2006.

In the last ODI held here, England got past the West Indies by three wickets in October 2006, two days after India were beaten by the Caribbean charmers.

To India's credit, they have accounted for three out of the five 300-plus scores recorded at this venue, including the ground-high 325 for five against the West Indies in November, 2002 -- their last victory here.

Meanwhile, players of the two sides landed here this afternoon. The home side were without Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag, who have been rested for the match.

Topics : Cricket Sreesanth
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