A washed-out day at the 2022 T20 World Cup has left Ireland in the second spot in Group 1 after they shared points with Afghanistan from their abandoned Super 12 match. The Irish are just behind New Zealand on net run rate while both of Afghanistan’s points have come via washouts.
With the subsequent England-Australia match also abandoned without a ball being bowled, four teams (Australia, England, Ireland and New Zealand) are currently level on three points, though the Kiwis have a game in hand as do Sri Lanka (on two points).
On Wednesday, Afghanistan’s match against New Zealand had also been called off due to rain without a ball being bowled. A similar scenario played out at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Friday with no chance of even the toss taking place.
“Very disappointed to be not playing at such an amazing ground,” Afghan skipper Mohammad Nabi said. “Me and Rash (Rashid Khan) played a lot of BBL (Big Bash League) games here, but most of the players are waiting to play here. But it’s not in our hands and we look forward to the upcoming games.”
Playing after a famous win over England at the same venue, Irish skipper Andrew Balbirnie shared similar sentiments.
“Very disappointing. We played some really good cricket the other night and were looking forward to this fixture against a team we know really well. If it could have gone our way, we could have gone to Brisbane with a lot of hopes of going into the next round,” Balbirnie said.
Can Ireland qualify for the semifinals?
Even though they would’ve been eyeing two points against Afghanistan, three points from three games isn’t a bad place for Ireland to be. The probability of rain affecting their next two games (against Australia in Brisbane and against New Zealand in Adelaide) is down to 20 per cent.
If Ireland wins both games – a tough task – they will have seven points from five games. Their net run rate will also improve in such a case. If the Kiwis beat Sri Lanka and England, Ireland will be confirmed as semifinalists.
If Ireland beat Australia and loses to New Zealand, they will have to count on the Blackcaps winning all their remaining games, beating England and Sri Lanka by big margins to dent their net run rate, as well as Australia not beating Afghanistan and overtaking them in the NRR column.
If the Irish lose to Australia and beat New Zealand, they will progress as long as the Blackcaps win their remaining games and none of the other teams finishes on more than five points. It is likely to come down to the net run rate in that case.