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Rain ruins Australia-England showdown

Ireland-Afghanistan match too washed out

October 29, 2022 00:00:00

Ireland players look on as rain washed out their T20 World Cup match against Afghanistan at Melbourne Cricket Ground on Friday — Collected

MELBOURNE, Australia, Oct 28 (AP): Defending champion Australia and England had to be content with splitting the competition points after their Twenty20 World Cup Group 1 game was abandoned because of rain on Friday.

Both games in Friday's double-header at the Melbourne Cricket Ground were washed out without a ball being bowled. Afghanistan has now had two washouts in three days against New Zealand and then Ireland.

Heavy rain along Australia's east coast has caused widespread flooding, including in areas near Melbourne.

"The outfield has taken a drenching. It's as wet as I've ever seen it in this stadium," Australia captain Aaron Finch said of his home ground at the MCG. "It's disappointing not to get on, but the amount of rain has been amazing."

Australia and England needed to avoid a loss in their much-hyped showdown to have any realistic chance of progressing to the semifinals. Now both teams are still fully in contention.

New Zealand leads the group after its thumping opening win over Australia and its wash out against Afghanistan. England, Ireland and Australia are also on three points, but have each played one more game than New Zealand and have inferior net run-rates.

England was coming off an upset loss to Ireland on Wednesday and was determined to get back into winning form against Australia heading into last two group games against New Zealand in Brisbane next Tuesday and Sri Lanka in Sydney on November 5.

Meanwhile, Afghanistan had a second game washed out within three days at the Twenty20 Cricket World Cup after its Group 1 match against Ireland was abandoned without a ball being bowled Friday because of persistent rain.

Afghanistan's Super 12 game against 2021 finalist New Zealand was also washed out on Wednesday, leaving the team with two points from three games.

Ireland, which advanced to the second round after placing second in its preliminary group last week, will move to Brisbane for a game on Monday against Australia. Afghanistan's next game is against 2014 champion Sri Lanka on Tuesday.

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