Australia-England crucial World T20 clash washed out


England’s highly-anticipated Men’s T20 World Cup match against Australia in Melbourne was washed out without a ball being bowled leaving Group One wide open.

England will likely have to win their last two games to progress although even that may not be enough.

They are currently second in the table, level on points with leaders New Zealand and Ireland, whose game against Afghanistan was washed out earlier.

Australia also have three points, but are in fourth on net run-rate.

Afghanistan are bottom with two no-results and a defeat, but still have a slim hope of progressing.

England’s chances were thrown into peril by their shock loss to Ireland on Tuesday and would have been all-but out of the tournament had they lost to Ashes rivals Australia, with a crowd of 60,000 expected for one of the tournament’s showpiece games.

The hosts would also have effectively been out had they lost.

But persistent afternoon rain left the outfield saturated and, despite a two-hour period without rain, the match was called off to boos from those inside the ground at 20:48 local time, with the playing surface deemed unfit for play.

It was a disappointing scene, but prevented the situation of one of the two teams being knocked out of a World Cup in a manic five-over per side shootout.

England captain Jos Buttler said: “The umpires had some big concerns and rightly so because the outfield was very wet and there were some areas in the 30-yard circle that were not fit to play.

“As much as we all want to play cricket it has to be safe and it certainly wasn’t that.”

What does this mean for England’s chances?

England next play New Zealand on Tuesday in Brisbane before meeting Sri Lanka in Sydney on Saturday 5 November.

Their simplest route to a top-two finish would be to win both games and hope Australia do not overhaul their sizeable net run-rate advantage in games against Ireland and Afghanistan.

In England’s favour is the fact their meeting with Sri Lanka is the last in the group so, if they can overcome the Black Caps, Jos Buttler’s side will have a clear picture of the net run-rate requirements.

Ireland will still hope to qualify, although their remaining games are difficult encounters against Australia and New Zealand.

New Zealand and Sri Lanka meet on Saturday in Sydney. The winner will take pole position at the top of the group.

“We are still in the competition and know, to a certain degree, we have our destiny in our own hands,” said Buttler.

“There is still lots of confidence in the group. We have some great players who are determined to right some wrongs from the other night [against Ireland].”

There have now been four matches in the tournament to finish without a result because of the weather.

Melbourne has been dogged by the La Nina weather pattern, which has caused serious flooding in parts of Victoria.

“The outfield has taken a drenching over the last couple of weeks and that’s the worst I’ve seen it in this stadium,” said Australia captain Aaron Finch.

“First and foremost we’ve got to try and win our remaining games and have to earn the right to push for net run-rate.” (BBC Sport)

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.