Groundsmen work to remove water after rain stopped play during match between India and New Zealand in Manchester on Tuesday. Aijaz Rahi / AP
The opening Cricket World Cup semi-final between India and New Zealand will be played over two days after rain at Old Trafford prevented the match finishing as scheduled on Tuesday.
New Zealand were 211-5 off 46.1 overs when persistent rain worsened sufficiently for the umpires to halt play at 2:00 pm (1300 GMT) with 23 balls left in the innings.
But after more than four hours off the field, the umpires eventually decided there was no prospect of even a 20 overs per side match − the minimum required under the Duckworth-Lewis method for rain-affected matches − being completed on Tuesday and they abandoned play for the day at 6:20 pm (1720 GMT).
The match, which remains a 50 overs per side contest, will now resume at 10:30 am (0930 GMT), weather permitting, with New Zealand on what will be their overnight score of 211-5, with Ross Taylor 67 not out and Tom Latham unbeaten on three.
New Zealand captain Kane Williamson had earlier made 67 after winning the toss, with Jasprit Bumrah (1-25 off eight overs) leading a disciplined India bowling attack.
If a 20 overs per side match cannot be completed on Wednesday as well, India would go through to Sunday's final at Lord's on the basis of having finished first to New Zealand's fourth in the 10-team group stage.
No reserve days were scheduled for the group matches of this World Cup, which has already featured a record four washouts.
Tournament hosts England and reigning champions Australia will contest the second semi-final at Edgbaston on Thursday, with that match able to continue on to Friday if a reserve day is required.
The Old Trafford tie would have seen India make it to the finals had the batters seen off the new ball without giving away crucial wickets. But credit to Jadeja for his fine knock (‘Kiwis survive Jadeja scare to stun India in World Cup semi-final thriller,’ July 11, Gulf Today).
Australia and India will be aiming to finish top of the World Cup league phase and so avoid facing hosts England in the semi-finals as they prepare for the final day of round-robin matches.
It was a superb display by the underdog Black Caps, who came into the match on the back of three straight defeats by Pakistan, Australia and England and only qualified for the semi-finals on net run-rate, while India topped the 10-team group stage.
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