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Cricket: Hambantota unchanged despite bees, blackout

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Sri Lanka will host Monday's one-day international against Bangladesh at the same venue where their first game was disrupted by bees and a blackout, an official said.

Sri Lanka Cricket Secretary Nishatha Ranatunga said Saturday's intermittent power failure at the venue, named after President Mahinda Rajapakse, was under investigation, but he was confident of hosting Monday's game without a hitch.

"We are playing tomorrow at the same venue as scheduled," Ranatunga told AFP. "We are getting some replacements (for the electricity supply) and our (engineering) teams are working on it."

Saturday's opening game was reduced to 41 overs following the power outage that lasted 90 minutes while some players also had to duck a swarm of bees flying past the boundary line.

Sri Lanka defeated Bangladesh by eight wickets to gain a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.

Local officials said the authorities had smoked bees out of a hive at the sprawling grounds before the match.

Ranatunga said Sri Lanka Cricket had employed the state-run electricity company to provide generators and back-up power to the 35,000 capacity stadium, which was initially built for the 2011 World Cup.

In a statement issued on Saturday night, Sri Lanka Cricket apologised.

"Sri Lanka Cricket wishes to apologise to the millions of viewers and the general public for the inconvenience caused due to this technical fault," it said.

It said two of the four light towers had failed due to a malfunction of the main electricity generator as well as a stand-by unit.

Some had thought the blackout was to do with Sri Lanka observing the earth hour, a symbolic global campaign in support for the planet, where people across continents switched off their lights for 60 minutes -- all at 8:30 pm local time.

However, at the stadium the lights failed an hour and a half before the earth hour was officially observed in Sri Lanka.

After Monday's game at Hambantota, the two teams move to Pallekele in central Sri Lanka for their 3rd one-day match on Thursday before a T20, also at Pallekele next Sunday.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130324/cricket-hambantota-unchanged-despite-bees-blackout