Melbourne: Afghanistan’s match against Ireland in the T20 World Cup was abandoned without a ball being bowled due to incessant rain at the Melbourne Cricket Ground here on Friday.
Persistent showers fell across the MCG for much of the day as ground staff kept the covers on and the toss could not be held as the pitch remained under wraps.
Play was eventually called off just after 4.30pm local time, with both Afghanistan and Ireland receiving one-point apiece to stay in contention for a semi-final berth.
The result pushed Ireland to second spot behind New Zealand on net run-rate as both teams have three points apiece with Ireland playing one match extra in Group 1 standings.
“We’d played good cricket and were looking forward to this. Can’t do much about the weather,” a disappointed Ireland captain Andy Balbirnie said.
Ireland next face Australia at Brisbane on Monday.
“It’ll be like a different country up in Brisbane. We want to push the champions.”
For Afghanistan, who had lost to England in their Super 12 opener, this was their second successive washout as their previous match against New Zealand, at same venue too was abandoned without a ball.
Afghanistan remain sixth with two Super 12 matches remaining.
Afghanistan captain Mohammad Nabi said most of the players missed out playing on this fantastic ground.
“Most of the players are disappointed, not having played on such a fantastic ground. Rashid and I have played but others haven’t but weather is not in our control. So we have to accept it.”
Afghanistan will be up against Sri Lanka on Tuesday at Brisbane.
“We made a plan to put runs on the board to allow our spinners to defend it. In the first game, we saw our mistakes and wanted to learn it. We watched Zimbabwe-Pakistan, they played well and fought till the last ball. All teams are trying their best.”
Now all eyes are on the second match of the day slated here between Ashes rivals Australia and England, which is a virtual knockout for both the teams.