Kolkata, Apr 24: The Indian Premier League match between Kolkata Knight Riders and Deccan Chargers at the Eden Gardens here was today abandoned without a ball being bowled after heavy rains, accompanied by thunderstorm, rendered the ground unplayable.
The squall with a velocity of 50kmph, accompanied by heavy showers and lightening, hit the venue around 7.45 pm and a makeshift structure made of bamboo at the western part of the stadium collapsed resulting to injury to three spectators.
With the heavy rains lasting more than an hour, Eden Gardens resembled a pool with knee-deep water as the groundsmen, aided by four supersoppers, tried their best to remove the water-logging.
Field umpires Billy Bowden and Vineet Kulkarni, accompanied by Match Referee Javagal Srinath, inspected the ground at 10.15pm but only to call off the match as there was pools of water near the boundaries while there were some seepage on the pitch.
Both the teams were awarded one point each as the winless Deccan Chargers finally opened their account thanks to the abandonment though they remained at the bottom of the league table.
The Knight Riders, on the other hand, jumped to second spot with nine points from eight matches behind leaders Delhi Daredevils (10 points from seven matches).
The thunderstorm accompanied by lightning hit the stadium around the toss time and the groundsmen were pressed into action to cover the ground. There was no let up from rain as it got intensified while the thunderstorm gathered momentum.
The 20,000-odd spectators ran for covers, bringing back the memories of KKR's rain-affected IPL 5 opener in which they lost to Delhi Daredevils by five wickets on April 5.
“It's unfortunate that weather beat us. We had to make the toughest decision to call off the match. The ground has taken a lot rain. After inspection we found out the outfield soggy. It's not safe for players with waterlogging in places,” umpire Bowden said.