Marlborough Express

Black Caps wary of more weather woes


The Black Caps will be relieved to know that fine weather is predicted for their next game. But if they’re believers in the validity of long-term forecastin­g, there will be some long faces over the prospect of more rain.

New Zealand’s T20 World Cup game against Afghanista­n was abandoned without a ball being bowled in Melbourne on Wednesday night due to rain, meaning the two sides took a point each.

The point was enough to keep

New Zealand at the top of group one with three points from two matches, while four teams have two points after England were shocked by Ireland in a game decided by the DLS method when the rain began to fall heavily at the MCG in the first of the planned double-header.

But after a dominant victory over hosts and defending champions Australia last weekend, the Black Caps would have expected to take two points from the game versus

Afghanista­n and will now be wary of any further rain-affected matches as they seek a top-two spot to make the semifinals.

They face Sri Lanka in Sydney tomorrow night and the forecast offers only a 5% chance of rain. But rain and possible thundersto­rms are then predicted for Tuesday’s clash against England at the Gabba in Brisbane.

It’s understand­able that some teams may be praying for the rain to end – or to fall on their rivals and not them.

The Australia and England camps will be watching the weather reports right up until play starts – if it can – in tonight’s game in Melbourne.

The Black Caps, courtesy of their win over Australia with a thumping net run rate, still hold their fate in their hands if the weather doesn’t intervene excessivel­y. But Wednesday’s washout was not in their favour.

Prior to the expected encounter, cricket data analysts Cricviz had New Zealand holding a 63% probabilit­y of making the last four, which would have climbed with a victory. Following the no-result, that probabilit­y slipped to 55% – yet they’re still the only group one side more likely than not to make the semis.

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