A view of the stadium after the match between New Zealand and Afghanistan was abandoned due to rain.—AFP
A view of the stadium after the match between New Zealand and Afghanistan was abandoned due to rain.—AFP

MELBOURNE: New Zeal­and’s Super 12 match against Afghanistan at the ICC T20 World Cup was abandoned on Wednesday without a ball bowled due to rain, leaving both teams to share the points.

The no-result at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) left last year’s runners-up New Zealand top of Group 1 on three points, the Black Caps having beaten champions and hosts Australia in their Super 12 opener last Saturday.

Afghanistan, who lost to England in their first match, remain bottom of the group on one point.

Earlier on Wednesday, third-placed England suffered a shock defeat to Ireland in the first match of the double-header at the MCG, with rain cutting the match short and leaving the English short of their par score calculated by the Duckworth-Lewis method.

New Zealand coach Gary Stead said Wednesday’s washout made the Black Caps’ first-up thrashing of hosts Australia all the more precious.

“I definitely think it helps,” Stead told reporters. “I think [Ireland’s win] also shows there are no easy games right through the tournament either. So that’s good for cricket. It does make our pool a little bit predictable.” Afghanistan face Ireland next on Friday at the MCG in the first match of another double-header before the Ashes foes go head-to-head later in the evening.

“It’s all to play for,” said Afgh­anistan coach Jonathan Trott.

Trott denied that his side had “dodged a bullet” by avoiding an in-form New Zealand side, who romped past Australia by 89 runs in their opening match.

“It would have been nice to play New Zealand and the guys to get the experience of playing at the MCG, and hopefully getting a win,” said Trott.“

Published in Dawn, October 27th, 2022

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