Afghanistan and Ireland shared the points on offer after persistent rain prevented any action or even the toss from taking place in their ICC Men’s Twenty/20 Cricket World Cup match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) today.
For Afghanistan, the result came just two days after their game against New Zealand, at the same venue, had also been abandoned.
With the point they earned today, Ireland, who defeated England earlier, climbed up two places to No. 2 in Group 1, behind New Zealand, who are on 3 points from two matches.
Afghanistan have 2 points, the same as Sri Lanka, England and Australia. But all those teams have played one game fewer and also have a win against their names, unlike Afghanistan, who lost to England in their first match of the tournament before the successive washouts.
It was a frustrating afternoon for all concerned. Although it wasn’t raining an hour before the scheduled start of the match, it started pouring just minutes before the scheduled toss, at 2.30 p. m Melbourne time. The toss was delayed as a result, and at 3.00 p. m, the scheduled start of play, the umpires announced an inspection for an hour later, by when losing overs was inevitable.
Rain remained on the radar, and while it abated for periods, raising hopes of play being possible, another downpour around 3.30 p. m brought the covers back on. Then, at around 4.15 p. m, it was decided that an inspection would be conducted only after the rain stopped, but the abandonment was announced just 18 minutes later.
A point against Afghanistan might have boosted Ireland’s hopes of qualifying for the semi-finals, but they do have games against Australia and New Zealand lined up. They will back themselves, though, after having pulled off a tight five-run win under the Duckworth/Lewis Method against England.
The Australia versus England match which was to have been played today, also at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, was also abandoned without a ball bowled.