MANCHESTER: There appeared to be almost more people on the outfield than there were in the stands as India and New Zealand warmed up for the second day of their rain-interrupted World Cup semi-final at Old Trafford on Wednesday.
Whereas there had been thousands of India fans in the stands before the match got underway on Tuesday, there were barely a handful present 24 hours later after rain in Manchester meant the match had to be carried over into Wednesday.
New Zealand will resume on their overnight 211-5 off 46.1 overs after the umpires, following more than four hours off the field, finally gave up any hope of completing the match on Tuesday at 6:20pm local time.
Ross Taylor is 67 not out and Tom Latham three not out after New Zealand captain Kane Williamson, who won the toss, had made a painstaking 67 on a difficult pitch for batting.
There are 23 balls left in the maximum 50 overs of New Zealand’s innings.
As the players warmed up on the outfield, amid dozens of broadcast personnel and security staff, ahead of Wednesday’s 10:30am restart, the sun briefly broke through the clouds.
Although more rain is forecast, hope is there for the match to be completed as normal, without the need to reduce overs and revise targets under the Duckworth-Lewis method for weather-affected matches.
But if the minimum 20 overs required in the second innings for a result under the D/L method cannot be completed, India will go through to Sunday’s final at Lord’s on the basis of finishing first in the 10-team group stage to New Zealand’s fourth.
Rain marred the initial stage of the World Cup, with a record four matches washed out.
No reserve days were scheduled then but they have been allocated for both semi-finals, including hosts England’s match against champions Australia at Edgbaston on Thursday, as well as the final.