The two teams – waiting for yet another glorious chapter in their epic rivalry to unfold – were left disappointed as they had to share points. The match officials called off the match due to incessant rain and the wet outfield. Both Group 1 encounters on Friday were washed out due to rain at the MCG.
After the match between Afghanistan and Ireland was called off, the hopes for a showdown between Australia and England were rekindled as there was no rain for around 90 minutes. The umpires made a couple of inspections and expressed their concern about some damp spots on the ground but the skies opened up once again to everyone’s disappointment.
With the abandonment of this game, the equations in Group 1 become interesting. Four teams are now tied on three points but New Zealand have played one game lesser while the Aussies have the worst net run rate. Rain has played spoilsport in five games.
Australia captain, Aaron Finch, after the formal handshake with his English counterpart said, “The outfield has taken a drenching over the last couple of weeks. That’s the wettest I’ve ever seen in this stadium. The run-ups were a really issue and around the inner circle, it were very wet. It’s more about players’ safety. 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 turnout, disappointing not to get on. The amount of rain that Melbourne has had has been amazing. He (Wade) was going to play tonight. He had a few symptoms yesterday but he was good to go. You got to try and win first. Then you try and push for the NRR. You can never underestimate Ireland and Afghanistan. They’ve got some world-class players. You can overplay the situation at times and that takes your focus off your job at hand. We’ll control what we can.”
England captain Jos Buttler, while expressing his disappointment said, “Was supposed to be a massive occasion, full house here against Australia, the biggest game of your career, very disappointed not to be able to play tonight. Would have been a great place to do it (100th game). But full focus on our next match and keeping our tournament alive. We’ve been playing some good cricket leading into the tournament. Really disappointing the other night especially when we had a 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. The guys are rested up well and we were ready to play tonight as well. A few days now to clear everything out, have a couple of good training days and then look forward to the next game.”