After waiting for four long years, cricket fans were treated to a rain-affected ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 semi-final match between hot favourites India and last edition's finalists New Zealand on Tuesday at Old Trafford in Manchester, leaving everyone high and dry. Ironically indeed!
And cricket being cricket, not all fans are sure of what will happen in such a scenario, even though the organisers -- the all-powerful International Cricket Council (ICC) has graciously accommodated reserved days for the knock-outs -- the two semi-finals and the final. But still, it takes a lot of explaining to understand the many possibilities.
Here's what we found:
According to the official website, "the umpires will do everything they can to complete the game today [Tuesday], exactly as if there were no reserve day, with a minimum of 20 overs per innings. If a game is unable to be completed today then play will resume tomorrow [Wednesday] with the objective to get as full a game as possible."
1. As the Kiwis have played more than 20 overs (46.1 overs), their innings is as good as over considering the time-bound nature of the game.
2. So, when the play resumes, it will be India's turn to bat (if the rain stoppage exceeds the closing time of first innings). And a target will be set according to the 'infamous' Duckworth-Lewis-Stern ( DLS) method. At first glance, India's revised target would be around 235+ in 46 overs. Advantage Kiwis!
By the way, the cut-off time is two hours after the end of normal play.
3. If rain persists and play can't be completed today, then it will continue tomorrow. Continue, it's the key word here. The target, if set, remains the same even if there is scorching sun. Advantage India.
4. If it's washed out, then India go through courtesy their higher ranking in the group stage.
The play was stopped due to rain after 46.1 overs' play with New Zealand at 211/5. Veteran Ross Taylor was unbeaten on 67 off 85 balls.
Earlier, New Zealand won the toss and opted to field. India made one change in their playing eleven, replacing Kuldeep Yadav with Yuzvendra Chahal. A fit-again Lockie Ferguson replaced Tim Southee in the New Zealand line-up.
India: Lokesh Rahul, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli (c), Rishabh Pant, MS Dhoni (wk), Dinesh Karthik, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah
New Zealand: Martin Guptill, Henry Nicholls, Kane Williamson (c), Ross Taylor, Tom Latham (wk), James Neesham, Colin de Grandhomme, Mitchell Santner, Lockie Ferguson, Matt Henry, Trent Boult.