T20 World Cup 2022, Gr 1, AFG v NZ: Match abandoned leaving Group 1 wide open

ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2022, Super 12, Group 1, Afghanistan vs New Zealand: Afghanistan, New Zealand share points as match abandoned without a ball bowled at Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG)

ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2022, Super 12, Group 1, Afghanistan vs New Zealand: Afghanistan, New Zealand share points as match abandoned at MCG | Walking Wicket (Photo: ©ICC/Getty)
Afghanistan, New Zealand share points as match abandoned (Photo: ©ICC/Getty)

The Group 1 match between Afghanistan and New Zealand at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) on Wednesday was abandoned without a ball being bowled due to rain. The two teams shared a point each. This leaves Group 1 wide open, with all six teams having at least one point or more after the completion of 6 Group 1 games.


Afghanistan ‘happy’ with 1 point

However, the point-sharing as a result of this match being abandoned would favour Afghanistan more than New Zealand. If Afghanistan can cause an upset or two against big teams, they can fancy their chances of moving into the semis. For New Zealand, it would be a loss of a point as they were certain favourites to win against Afghanistan and bag two full points.


ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2022 Group 1 Points Table

ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2022 Group 1 Points Table after New Zealand vs Afghanistan match
Group 1 Points Table

New Zealand rue loss of a point

Although New Zealand sit at the top with three points and a healthy net run rate of 4.450, the loss of a point could hamper them in the end if they suffer a mini-losing streak (although improbable given their current form, but tough to overrule), and other teams leapfrog them in the table with superior points. Or, if they are tied up with the same points, then the net run-rate will decide who advances into the semis. New Zealand will draw solace from the fact that they can breathe easy in that respect.


Read More: T20 World Cup 2022, Group 1, Aus v NZ: Conway 92*, Southee 3-6, Santner 3-31 help NZ smother Aus at SCG

ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2022, Super 12, Group 1, Ireland vs England_ Ireland beat England in T20 World Cup 2022 Walking Wicket (Photo_ ©Getty Images)
Ireland beat England in T20 World Cup 2022 (Photo: ©Getty Images)

Ireland repeat 2011 World Cup heroics

Also, England’s loss to Ireland has set up Group 1 which can easily be called the group of death. This win also ensures Ireland too can fancy their chances of making it into the semis. For the record, Ireland are known as the ‘giant slayers’ and they demonstrated their abilities when earlier on Wednesday they repeated their 2011 Cricket World Cup heroics to register a win against England. They had also beaten Pakistan in the 2007 Cricket World Cup league stage.


Australia vs England a do-or-die clash now

Ireland’s historic victory against England also ensures that the Australia-England clash on October 28 becomes a do-or-die contest as the winner will move ahead in the points table. After that particular game, Australia will be left to tackle Afghanistan and Ireland, while England will face comparatively tougher challenges against New Zealand and Sri Lanka.


An Australian win will help them as they can later improve their net run rate against Afghanistan and Ireland. Australia have the worst net run rate of -1.555 in Group 1 just behind Ireland. But a loss for England will see them almost knocked out as wins against New Zealand and Sri Lanka could not possibly save them unless the margin of victory is substantial.


Read More: T20 World Cup 2022, Gr 1, AUS v SL: Stoinis single-handedly secures win for Australia with 59*(18)


Less time to plan

The task is now cut out for all teams in Group 1 as there is less time to recover and plan and plot the next move. The team that has the winning momentum is most likely to do well in this short tournament.


Staging of matches comes under criticism

Also, the staging of matches has come under criticism. Two matches on a single ground with rain predicted, and with no reserve day, have led to matches being affected left, right and centre. This robs revenues for the broadcasters, organisers and hampers viewers’ interest.


The worst part is that rain eventually gets to decide the winner and possible semi-finalists in such a big tournament like T20 World Cup. Rain did prove to be lucky for Pakistan in the 1992 World Cup when a point they accrued from an abandoned game against England in Adelaide, took them to the semi-final stage. If the stars do align in a similar manner for any side this year, one could possibly be witness to a new winner this time around as well.

Read More: T20 World Cup 2022, Gr 1, ENG v AFG: Despite Curran's brilliant 5-10, scratchy Eng crawl to victory

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