India and New Zealand will resume their World Cup semi-final on Wednesday after a rain-affected day at Old Trafford.
New Zealand reached 211-5 from 46.1 overs before rain forced the players from the field at 14:00 BST.
The rain was not heavy but it was consistent enough to delay play, with the umpires deciding at 18:25 no further action would be possible.
It means New Zealand will resume their innings at 10:30 on Wednesday and India will have the full 50 overs to chase.
It was, without a doubt, a disappointing day – India were on top on a slow pitch in front of a vociferous crowd, and returning for a second day will be a logistical challenge for some fans.
It does, however, seem to be the fairer option as it ensures both sides play a full 50 overs.
- Listen: TMS podcast: A semi-final on hold
- Wednesday’s weather forecast for Old Trafford
India on top
Tuesday – cloudy, humid, overcast – felt like an ideal bowling day, but New Zealand captain Kane Williamson opted to bat first after winning the toss.
New Zealand’s batting has not fired throughout the tournament, Williamson aside, and they almost lost Martin Guptill to the first ball of the innings when he was struck in front by Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
India reviewed the not out decision but lost their review.
It was slow going throughout the day. New Zealand did not score a run until the 17th ball of the innings; they did not hit a four until the eighth over.
The wasted review against Guptill did not cost India too much – he was dismissed shortly afterwards for one, caught by Virat Kohli at second slip – and Henry Nicholls and Kane Williamson crawled, rather than cantered, through the overs.
Their 68-run partnership steadied the innings but Nicholls, out of nowhere, was bowled by Ravindra Jadeja to end the stand.
There was no boundary for 14 overs soon after, Williamson and Taylor tied down to singles by the India spinners.
While Williamson was there, New Zealand always had hope, but when he was caught at backward point, finally trying to accelerate the innings, things firmly swung in India’s favour.
However, the Black Caps, finalists in 2015, will resume on Wednesday with the experienced Ross Taylor at the crease.
He hit the first six of the match to reach his half-century and he is capable of pushing them through the final 3.5 overs to a competitive total.
- Andy Zaltzman’s guide to the World Cup semi-finals
Who does this favour? – analysis
Prakash Wakankar, BBC Test Match Special commentator
Depending on how the weather plays, theoretically we are looking at a full hundred-over game.
That would put the game in the balance – and that, I think, would be the fairest way of deciding who gets a place in a 50-over final.
The shorter the game, the more it has to favour New Zealand. Without taking anything away from them, generally speaking, the shorter the game, the less all-round side gets the benefit. And in that context, I say New Zealand will benefit from a truncated game.
It will be difficult for both teams to come back tomorrow [Wednesday].
New Zealand have to come back and get into the batting groove and they know that, if they lose early wickets, the DLS system works to their disadvantage, should it rain.
What about tickets?
Guidance from the International Cricket Council is as follows:
- Fans are advised that their tickets are valid for the reserve day. They should keep hold of their ticket from Tuesday as they will require them to enter the stadium on Wednesday.
- Fans are not able to sell their tickets for the reserve day if they cannot attend, due to the short turnaround time.
- Fans who cannot attend the reserve day are able to donate their tickets as they leave Old Trafford on Tuesday to give free of charge to local cricket communities. Once fans have donated their ticket, they are unable to attend.
Wednesday’s weather – more rain?
BBC Weather’s Gareth Harvey: “Tomorrow, we are likely to see mixed conditions at Old Trafford with sunny intervals but some showers, these most likely through the late morning and the early afternoon. There should be some play with some decent drier interludes between the showers but interruptions are likely. It will be a warmer day than today too with highs of around 22C.”