It was a Tuesday of slow runs, damp weather and the long wait. Under grim skies that made illuminated floodlights a mandatory accessory to the World Cup semifinal, India tightened the screws on New Zealand.
Old Trafford’s dry pitch was on the slower side and the niggardly Men in Blue restricted the Black Caps to 211 for five in 46.1 overs when a steady drizzle gained strength and forced umpires Richard Illingworth and Richard Kettleborough to stop play at 2 p.m. local time.
The rains that wavered between the feathery drops and the insistent pitter-patter, continued unabated till 4.15 p.m. when the sun grudgingly peeped out. While the match officials hoped for an extended dry phase so that India could commence an abridged chase with a revised target based on the Duckworth-Lewis Method, a fresh wet spell just as the umpires were inspecting the turf at 6.10 p.m., affected revival-plans.
Play is set to resume at the same stage today, a reserve day, weather permitting.
Read yesterday’s match report here:
It has been a campaign in which Virat Kohli’s men have been successfully able to hide their chinks even without a suitable ‘Plan B’ but it now boils down to having two days and they don’t have an option of letting the script go awry.
The sub-plots promise to be fascinating — Rohit trying to hook a Lockie Ferguson bouncer, KL Rahul negotiating one from Trent Boult that could veer in, Kohli smashing Matt Henry all around.
The last five outings on the surface here favoured the team taking first strike including India which defeated Pakistan and the West Indies. The pitches have slowed down over the last fortnight and scoreboard-pressure becomes a raging beast at the last-four stage.