MELBOURNE, Australia (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 Nov. 5.
“It was due to be a massive occasion,” England captain Jos Buttler said of the game against Australia in front of a big crowd at the MCG. “A full house here against Australia. Very disappointed not to get it played.”
Australia will host Ireland in Brisbane on Monday and finish the group stage against Afghanistan.
New Zealand and Sri Lanka were scheduled to play on Saturday. Group 2 is back in action Sunday with a double-header in Perth featuring Pakistan against Netherlands and India taking on South Africa.
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