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Cricket: Crowd violence holds up Sri Lanka-Pakistan ODI


Colombo: Rioting crowds forced cricketers to retreat to their dressing rooms as projectiles reached the outer field of the Premadasa Stadium during the third one-day international between Pakistan and hosts Sri Lanka today.

Police deployed anti-riot squads to clear two blocks of stands near the scoreboard as rival groups of spectators clashed, pelting stones into the grounds from outside the stadium after they were forced out during Sri Lanka’s run chase in the day-night match.

The hosts, chasing Pakistan’s 316-4, were struggling at 158-7 in the 34th over when the disturbances at the grounds in the Sri Lanka capital forced the umpires to order the players to their dressing rooms until the situation was brought under control.

“The umpires decided to suspend play after a player complained that a stone had landed near him,” a police source at the grounds said.

No players were hurt, and the match resumed after a nearly 20 minute delay. There were no immediate reports of arrests.

Several vehicles at the stadium were damaged due to stone throwing, however, witnesses said.

Sri Lanka and Pakistan are 1-1 in the five-match ODI series with two more to go in addition to Sunday’s game.

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