by Sudipta Biswas
Rains are likely to interrupt action in the India vs New Zealand World Cup 2019 semifinal.
Table topper India and fourth-placed New Zealand are all set to take on each other in the first semifinal of 2019 Cricket World Cup at Old Trafford in Manchester on Tuesday. With Virat Kohli-led Team India is looking confident against Kane Williamson’s New Zealand fans can expect a high-intensity contest tomorrow. However, rain threat looms large on the match. With the British metrological department forecasted heavy downpour on the match day, rain might play a spoilsport.
If the match is washed out on Tuesday, it will be played on Wednesday, the ‘reserve day’. Unlike the group stage fixtures where points were divided between the two playing sides after a washout, the governing body of cricket, ICC, has kept reserve day for both semifinals and final.
Now take a look at the weather forecast for Tuesday’s match in Manchester. “Cloudier skies and some showery rain developing at times”, British MET department’s forecast read out. And it didn’t rule out any chance of rain on the reserve day (Wednesday) as well.
Earlier, India’s league stage clash against New Zealand was called off due to persistent rains in Nottingham without a ball being bowled; as a result, both teams collected a point each from that game.
Now, on Tuesday if the match can’t be completed, the proceeding will continue on the reserve day. But, if heavy downpour continues on Wednesday too, then the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern (DLS) method will come into play.
With the rain is expected to interrupt the match on Tuesday as well as on the reserve day, fans have all reasons to speculate what happens if the semifinal fails to produce a result.
Here is the answer-
According to the tournament rule, if there is a washout, then the team that finished at a better position in comparison to its opposition in the points table after the end of round-robin league will qualify for the final. However, for the grand finale, the rule is different. If the summit clash itself gets washed away, then the Cricket World Cup trophy and the prize money will be shared between the finalists.
As India have finished at the top of the points table with 15 points in 9 matches and New Zealand at the fourth spot with 11 points, the Men in Blue will automatically advance to the final. In their final round-robin league match, India defeated Sri Lanka by seven wickets while Australia suffered 10 runs defeat to South Africa which helped the subcontinent side to finish on top.
Given the fact that four matches of league phase were washed away due to rains which left fans and the broadcasters frustrated, another washout can’t be ruled out on Tuesday or Wednesday.
In the second semifinal Australia, who were shifted down to the second spot after their defeat to the Proteas, will play hosts England on July 11 at Edgbaston.
The final will take place at the Lord’s, London on July 14.
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