Melbourne — Friday in Melbourne, a highly anticipated Twenty20 World Cup match between Australia and England was abandoned without a ball being bowled due to weather, leaving their group wide open.
It was the second match of the day to be washed out at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, following Ireland vs. Afghanistan, and all four teams now have a point in their pursuit of a spot in the semi-finals.
New Zealand leads Group 1 with three points, the same as England, Ireland, and the defending champions Australia, although the Black Caps have a superior net run-rate and an extra game.
Afghanistan and Sri Lanka each have two points. The group’s top two finishers will advance to the semifinals.
Four matches have been rained out at the Australian competition.
The Ashes battle between England and Australia was considered as a must-win for both teams, who had each won one and lost one prior.
“Tonight is very regrettable for everyone concerned. All the supporters who were going to attend this game in person, and everyone who wanted to watch it on television “Captain of England Jos Buttler stated.
“Australia versus England at the MCG in a must-win World Cup match is as important as it gets for players, and these are the games you want to be involved in.
And regardless of the outcome, it was something that every cricketer should experience.
England, along with Australia, one of the tournament’s pre-tournament favorites, will play New Zealand in Brisbane on Tuesday in another must-win match.
Australia plays Ireland on Monday, also at The Gabba, and has the easier remaining schedule compared to England.
The MCG’s outfield has been as drenched as I’ve ever seen it during the past several weeks, according to Australian captain Aaron Finch.
Ireland captain Andrew Balbirnie expressed his displeasure after the rain denied his team a chance to defeat Afghanistan.
The Irish were energized after defeating England by five runs in a rain-affected match on Wednesday, but the rain halted their momentum against winless Afghanistan.
Two games involving the Afghans have now been abandoned.
Balbirnie described the scenario as “very disheartening.”
“We played pretty well the night before and were looking forward to this match against a team we know very well,” he explained.
“After the England game, there was much discussion about matching that performance and playing well in this match. Sadly, we were unable to demonstrate our capabilities today.
If everything had gone our way, we would have traveled to Brisbane (to face Australia) with high aspirations of advancing to the next round.
Earlier this year, Ireland defeated Afghanistan in a five-match T20 series, 3-2.
Afghanistan are last in their group, and Afghanistan’s captain, Mohammad Nabi, is also dissatisfied.
“We were well-prepared… During the chase, the aim was to put points on the board and bring the spinners into play “he stated.
Saturday in Sydney will see New Zealand take on Sri Lanka in Group 1 action.