The semi-final between India and New Zealand will resume on the reserve day after rain played spoilsport. (Image credit: Getty Images)
The ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 was affected by rain at the start of the tournament with four games getting abandoned, making it the wettest tournament and the edition which has seen the most abandonments. After a lull, there was bright sunshine but in the first semi-final between India and New Zealand in Manchester, the rain returned with a vengeance. Persistent rain and drizzle throughout the second half of the day forced the semi-final to spill over into the reserve day, the first time it has ever happened in the knock-out stage of the World Cup.
New Zealand had won the toss and chosen to bat with Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor blasting fifties on a pitch which was difficult to bat. India’s bowlers operated brilliantly and despite some sloppy fielding, New Zealand was restricted to 211/5 in 46.1 overs when the rain intervened. Efforts were made to start a Twenty20 game at 23:05 hrs IST but the rain intervened again and this forced the game to go into the reserve day.
However, the forecast for the day is not looking too promising. The weather prediction on Wednesday is cloudy conditions throughout with 20 per cent chances of rain. The rain estimate for Tuesday was 50 per cent. The amount of rain shown today, though, is an improvement of previous weather predictions which had predicted 80 per cent chances of rain on Wednesday. In case there is no rain, New Zealand's innings will begin from where it was stopped. This means New Zealand will have to bat 3.5 overs and set India a normal target in case there is no rain.
All efforts will be made to ensure that a Twenty20 game is being played. According to the playing conditions, the last-ditch effort for a Twenty20 game will be made if the rain stops. Overs will start reducing two and a half hours after the interruption. In case the game gets washed out even today, India will qualify for the final as they had finished higher on the points table. India had topped the group with 15 points while New Zealand finished fourth with 11 points.
The league game between India and New Zealand was also abandoned due to rain in Trent Bridge. New Zealand has a 4-3 head-to-head record against India in World Cups, having never lost a game in England.