Match 25 of the ICC T20 World Cup 2022 was hit by rain at MCG, a familiar experience now for an Afghanistan team who suffered the same fate when their match against New Zealand at the same ground went the same way on Wednesday (October 26).
Persistent showers fell across the MCG for much of the day as ground staff kept the covers on and the toss could not be held as the pitch remained under wraps. Play was eventually called off just after 4.30pm local time (11am IST) with both Afghanistan and Ireland receiving one-point apiece to stay in contention for a semifinal berth.
The no-result outcome left Afghanistan bottom of the group and at least briefly nudged Ireland up to second place, ahead of the scheduled match between England and Australia at the same ground later on Friday, which is also threatened by rain.
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“Can’t do much about the weather,” a disappointed Ireland captain Andy Balbirnie said. Ireland next face Australia at Brisbane on Monday (October 31).
“It’ll be like a different country up in Brisbane. We want to push the champions,” he added.
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For Afghanistan, who had lost to England in their Super 12 opener, this was their second successive washout as their previous match against New Zealand, at same venue too was abandoned without a ball.
Afghanistan remain sixth with two Super 12 matches remaining.
Afghanistan captain Mohammad Nabi said most of the players missed out playing on this fantastic ground. “Most of the players are disappointed, not having played on such a fantastic ground. Rashid and I’ve played but others haven’t but weather is not in our control. So we’ve to accept it.”
Afghanistan will be up against Sri Lanka on Tuesday (November 1) at Brisbane. “We made a plan to put runs on the board to allow our spinners to defend it. In the first game, we saw our mistakes and wanted to learn it. We watched Zimbabwe-Pakistan, they played well and fought till the last ball. All teams are trying their best,” Nabi added.
(With inputs from Agencies)