MELBOURNE — For the second time this week, a match was abandoned due to rain at the Men’s T20 World Cup in Australia. In the case of South Africa and Zimbabwe at Hobart, some play happened before rain Gods prevailed.
But on Wednesday, New Zealand and Afghanistan didn’t get to play, let alone come out at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) for the toss. Eventually, rain forced the abandonment of the Group 1 match in Super 12, with points split between both teams.
After their thumping 89-run victory over hosts’ and defending champions Australia in their tournament opener at Sydney, New Zealand, the Group 1 toppers, were expected to be in an engrossing clash with Afghanistan, who fought hard before going down to England by five wickets in Perth.
But with Ireland-England match still on, there was 30 minutes delay in the start of New Zealand-Afghanistan match. But with rain continuing to hammer down at the MCG, after Ireland got a famous five-run win via DLS method, the second match of the day went into the losing overs territory.
Rain relented, and with inspection at 8:20pm local time, there were hopes of a truncated match. But covers came back on the field as rain returned. With the inspection pushed to 9pm, many had a small glimmer of hope over the match taking place. But rain came again with full force, forcing the match to be officially abandoned without a ball being bowled.
The abandoned match and Ireland stunning England means Group 1 is now wide open. New Zealand remain on top of the group with three points due to their superior net run rate and would fancy their chances of entering the semifinals.
Their next match is against Sri Lanka at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Saturday, while Afghanistan will return to Melbourne on Friday to take on Ireland, before the decisive Australia-England match happens. — (IANS)