MELBOURNE, October 28: The crucial T20 World Cup clash between old rivals Australia and England was on Friday called off without a ball being bowled due to intermittent rain, making the race to semifinals tougher for the two top teams.
After the Afghanistan-Ireland game in the afternoon was washed out at the MCG, it was a double whammy for the crowd as weather played spoilsport again.
Only two teams each from the two groups qualify for the semifinals. After two rained out games on Friday, England found themselves in the number two spot after sharing a point with Australia.
Title favourites England had suffered a shock loss to Ireland in Super 12s.
Australia too have three points from as many games after losing their tournament opener to New Zealand. They are fourth in the group with the worst run rate among four teams locked on three points. New Zealand lead the group and Ireland are second.
Rain has affected most of the games at the MCG barring the Indo-Pak blockbuster played on Sunday.
“That’s the wettest I’ve ever seen in this stadium. The run-ups were a real issue and around the inner circle, it was very wet. It’s more about players’ safety,” said Australia skipper Aaron Finch.
“We saw one of the Zimbabweans go down the other day. If you are trying to run there, it’s going to be a real issue. Everyone was ready to play, there was a great turn-out, disappointing not to get on.
“The amount of rain that Melbourne has had has been amazing.”
When asked about Matthew Wade, who was down with COVID-19, he added: ” “He was going to play tonight. He had a few symptoms yesterday but he was good to go.”
England skipper Jos Buttler too expressed disappointment after the second no show of the day.
“It was supposed to be a massive occasion, full house here against Australia, biggest game of your career, very disappointed not to be able to play tonight. But full focus on our next match and keep our tournament alive. We’ve been playing some good cricket leading into the tournament.
“Really disappointing the other night especially when we had the majority of things in our favour. We don’t become a bad team overnight. We are full of match-winners. Looking forward to the rest of the tournament,” said Buttler referring to the loss to Ireland. (PTI)