After the rain interruption on Tuesday, the forecast for Wednesday doesnt look too good either, as there are chances of showers in patches even as India and New Zealand look to resume their battle in the first semi-final of the 2019 World Cup at Old Trafford. But it is advantage India if play is indeed washed off again on the reserve day.
As per the rain rules of the International Cricket Council for the semi-finals and final, if there is no result on the scheduled match day, play will continue on the reserve day, using the same start time and hours of play as the scheduled match day. The reserve day will be a continuation not a restart. Any advantage earned on the scheduled day will be carried through to the reserve day.
A tied match will use a super over to determine the winner. If after the scheduled day and reserve day the semi-final match has still not reached a result, the higher placed team from the league stage will progress to the final.
On Tuesday, it was a clear case of frustration as incessant drizzle saw the match officials having to call off the game after the players had initially walked off during the 47th over of the New Zealand innings with the Indian bowlers in control on a slow wicket.
While the forecast was for spells of shower, a nagging drizzle from around 2 p.m. in the afternoon till around 5 p.m. saw the covers staying on. While it did relent for a bit around 5.40 p.m., calling for the officials to inspect the ground at 6.10 p.m., another spell of drizzle saw the game being finally called off with the reserve day coming into play.
While both teams will want to battle it out in the middle and make their way to the final with the honour of winning the semi-final encounter, it clearly is advantage India as the notorious Manchester weather decides to play spoilsport.
Rain stops play, NZ to resume on 211/5 today
Rain stopped play in the first semifinal between India and New Zealand at the Old Trafford on Tuesday with the Kiwi scoreboard reading 211/5 after 46.1 overs. New Zealand will resume their innings on Wednesday on the same score with 23 balls of their innings still remaining.
Ross Taylor was unbeaten on 67 off 85 balls when the umpires decided the players needed to head back to the pavilion
Back to the New Zealand innings, slower bouncers, cutters and the knuckle balls ruled the roost as the Indian bowlers showed why they are considered one of the best in world cricket at present.
Even as the team management surprised many by deciding to drop the in-form Mohammad Shami, the trio of Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Hardik Pandya showed that they were up for the challenge.
New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson scored a fighting 95-ball 67 as the Kiwi batsmen found the going extremely tough on the slow wicket on offer. Ross Taylor played a hand as well, scoring an unbeaten 67 off 85 balls before rain stopped play with 23 balls left in the New Zealand innings.
For India, Ravindra Jadeja was the standout performer, giving away just 34 runs from his 10 overs. He also picked up the wicket of Henry Nicholls (28). While Bumrah started the show by dismissing Martin Guptill for 1, Yuzvendra Chahal snared the all-important wicket of Williamson.
Brief scores: New Zealand: 211/5 in 46.1 overs (Ross Taylor 67*, Ken Williamson 67; Jadeja 1/34) vs India