Chaotic interruption to World Cup semi

 

The World Cup semi-final between India and New Zealand will be played over a second day after rain interrupted the important clash.

New Zealand had batted their way to 5/211 off 46.1 overs and had just started to accelerate when the weather set in.

Four hours of waiting as the rain fell was all for nought as the covers stayed on with the match abandoned for the day.

But sides will return to Old Trafford at 10.30am local time (7.30pm AEST) to continue where they left off in pursuit of a result.

The rules for the World Cup semi-final leave an additional reserve day if needed - an initiative that came into operation when time for the minimum 20 overs-per-side match needed for a result under the Duckworth-Lewis method was not possible.

As it became apparent the sides would not be able to make it back on the field before 6.35pm local time (3.35pm AEST), the match was stretched into a second day and will continue for the last 3.5 overs of the New Zealand innings and the complete 50 overs of the chase for India.

After the countries' group game was washed out, fans and former crickets have been joking about the cursed match of the Cricket World Cup.

 

 

 

 

 

There was plenty of water on the field.
There was plenty of water on the field.

Tournament hosts England and reigning champions Australia will contest the second semi-final at Edgbaston on Thursday, with that match able to continue on to Friday if a reserve day is required.

Before the innings was interrupted, New Zealand had just started to accelerate after a sluggish start.

Kane Williamson hit 67 off 95 balls, while Ross Taylor was not out on an 85-ball 67. Williamson was out in the 36th over with the score at 3/134.

A rapid acceleration saw New Zealand pass 200 by the 45th over but the slow and steady start had the side battling to improve its slow run rate.

Even getting to 211 before the rain interruption, commentator and former Kiwi wicketkeeper Ian Smith said New Zealand needed another 50 runs.
"The most amazing statistic for me is the number of dot balls, more than 25 overs of the 46 they've faced have been unproductive deliveries," Smith said. "When they look back on it if it doesn't turn well at the end of the day, you just can't afford to have that."

Speaking on Fox Sports' coverage, former Aussie star Andrew Symonds said "no way" will 240 be enough for New Zealand to hold off India.

"They've always been competitive, for a small nation, they do incredibly well," Symonds said. "That said, you can't be on eggshells, you've got to go out there, body language and intent has got to be right. Say 'we're going to lose this game swinging' rather than tippy-toeing around it."

Indian players leave the field as the rain poured down.
Indian players leave the field as the rain poured down.

 

Speaking during play, former Australian captain Steve Waugh said New Zealand had batted themselves into a hole.

Waugh was critical of Taylor, who had started with 26 off 53 balls before he got going.
"It's not good enough at this stage of the game," Waugh said. "They really need to up the ante now. Kane Williamson can't do it all himself."

 

 

 

Williamson's innings was more of a Test knock with the Kiwi skipper playing a key hand to hold the innings together in the early stages of the match against a phenomenal Indian attack.

When Williamson was dismissed, he had highest run tally at a World Cup of any New Zealander with 548 runs at 91.33 including two centuries and two half centuries, passing Martin Guptill's 2015 tally by a single run.

 

India's bowling started inauspiciously with an LBW shout which was turned down on the first ball of the match. Captain Virat Kohli sent it upstairs and it was missing the stumps, meaning India lost their one review for the match.

But tight bowling kept the runs down as India restricted New Zealand to the lowest score in the first 10 over powerplay of the tournament.

The Kiwis' 1/27 edged behind England's 1/28, also against India.

The conditions were tough with the ball seaming and moving throughout the innings, making run scoring difficult.

An injury scare for all-rounder Hardik Pandya also sent a shiver through the Indian camp as he struggled to bowl with what commentators called a hip flexor injury.

"They can ill afford to lose a bowler here India, they do not have another option," commentator Simon Doull said. "I imagine Virat Kohli would have to bowl a few seamers, MS Dhoni could take the pads off with Dinesh Karthik taking the pads."

India entered the game with Pandya, Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar to bring the pace, as well spinners Ravindra Jadeja and Yuzvendra Chahal.

The lack of a part-timer appears to be a "weak link" for India.

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In good news for India, Pandya returned to the field soon after.

- with AFP



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