England and Australia's hopes of reaching the semi-finals of the T20 World Cup continue to hang in the balance after their clash was washed out without a ball being bowled on Friday.

England's meeting with their rivals had been billed as a crucial game for both teams after Jos Buttler's side suffered a shock defeat to Ireland, while the hosts joined them on two points in Group 1 after losing to New Zealand and beating Sri Lanka.

Heavy rain in Melbourne resulted in a delay over of almost two hours before the abandonment was confirmed, with officials having completed two inspections of the MCG's sodden turf.

After seeing the points shared, England will now likely have to win their final two group fixtures – against New Zealand and Sri Lanka – to have any hope of reaching the last four.

Speaking to Sky Sports before it was confirmed there would be no play, Ben Stokes insisted England would relish the pressure of facing two do-or-die matches.

"It's almost going to be like playing a final every game. That's what these competitions are all about," Stokes said. "You're always under pressure to perform in these.

"You can't expect everyone to deliver all of the time, but it's just about your bouncebackability and we've generally been quite good at that."

Buttler, meanwhile, had been due to make his 100th T20I appearance on Friday, and was bitterly disappointed to see the match called off.

"It was due to be a massive occasion, we're very disappointed," Buttler told Sky Sports.

"It would have been a great place to do it, but we have full focus on our next match and keeping our tournament alive. We've been playing some good cricket leading into the tournament.

"It was a really disappointing performance the other night, but we've retained full faith in the group and have confidence in the players for the rest of the tournament."

England face New Zealand at the Gabba in Brisbane on Tuesday, one day after Australia take on Ireland at the same venue.

Ireland and Afghanistan were beaten by the weather as their T20 World Cup clash at the MCG was abandoned without a ball being bowled.

The Group 1 fixture was hit by rain in Melbourne, a familiar experience for an Afghanistan team who suffered the same fate when their match against New Zealand at the same ground went the same way on Wednesday.

The no-result outcome left Afghanistan bottom of the group and at least briefly nudged Ireland up to second place, ahead of the scheduled match between England and Australia at the same ground later on Friday.

Afghanistan captain Mohammad Nabi said: "Most of the players are disappointed to not be playing in such a fantastic ground."

Ireland skipper Andy Balbirnie, whose side upset England in their second game, added: "We'd played some good cricket the other night and were looking forward to this fixture against a team we know pretty well. We can't do anything about the weather. We've just got two more games to give it our best to try to get into the semis."

Zimbabwe beat Pakistan by one run in a sensational T20 World Cup encounter at Perth Stadium on Thursday.

The Chevrons recorded only their second T20I win against Pakistan in 18 meetings, despite setting a relatively modest target of 131.

A dramatic final over from Brad Evans (2-25) saw Zimbabwe clinch an unlikely victory, with Regis Chakabva running out Shaheen Shah Afridi off the last ball to leave Pakistan's semi-final hopes hanging by a threat after a dramatic loss to India.

After an opening stand of 42 from five overs, both Craig Ervine (19) and Wessly Madhevere (17) were out in quick succession, while Sean Williams was dropped on nine by Iftikhar Ahmed, before eventually departing for 31.

Pakistan took four wickets in six balls to leave Zimbabwe 95-7, but Ryan Burl (10 not out) and Evans (19) took them up to 130-8 - Mohammad Wasim (4-24) the pick of the bowlers.

Openers Babar Azam (and Mohammad Rizwan in the first five overs of the run chase, but Pakistan were in trouble on 94-6 when Shan Masood (44) departed after steadying the ship.

Masood was stumped off the bowling of the excellent  Pakistan-born Sikandar Raza (3-25) with his team still needing 37 runs from 29 balls.

Needing 11 from the final over, it looked like Pakistan were heading for the win, Wasim and Mohammad Nawaz taking seven off the first two balls.

However, requiring three from two,Nawaz (22) hit Evans straight to Ervine, and the incoming Afridi could only score a single off the final delivery, leaving Pakistan just short on 129-8.

Zimbabwe delight as Shaheens T20I misery continues

It has been a great start to Super 12 stage for Zimbabwe, sitting on three points from two games, albeit they were helped by the rain in securing a washout draw against South Africa.

Pakistan have now lost 11 T20I games since the beginning of 2022, only in 2010 have they lost more in a calendar year (12).

Pakistan bowlers did their job

Wasim (4-24) and Shadab Khan (3-23) took the bulk of the wickets, while Haris Rauf claimed great figures of 1-12 from his four overs.

Rauf conceded the second-fewest tuns by a Pakistan bowler in a men's T20 World Cup game of those to have bowled their full quota of four overs, behind Afridi - who took 4-11 against Netherlands in 2009.

Matthew Mott says England will not "throw the baby out with the bath water" for a monumental T20 World Cup showdown with Australia following their stunning defeat to Ireland.

England's hopes of qualifying for the semi-finals suffered a shock blow when they were consigned to a five-run Duckworth-Lewis-Stern loss at the hands of the Irish, with rain cutting short Wednesday's contest at the MCG.

Jos Buttler's side are third in Group 1 and must respond when they face a fifth-placed Australia side who are level on points with them.

Mott, England's Australian white-ball head coach, ruled out ringing the changes for a huge clash in Melbourne on Friday.

He said: "We have played really solid cricket for the last month…we are not going throw the baby out with the bath water. It's just business as usual. We'll go through the sessions, see who's pulled up well and make changes.

"But it is very unlikely to change the structure of the team. It might be a change here or two depending on how the bowlers pulled up."

Ben Stokes has failed to reach double figures in both World Cup knocks so far, but Mott expects the Test skipper to come good with the bat.

"He's an incredible player for our team," Mott said of the all-rounder. "He's a real leader in our group as well, apart from the official leaders.

"I thought his bowling has been a real bonus for us. I think a lot of people probably underestimate his bowling coming into this tournament.

"And he's been key for us. I think he's bowled some big overs particularly in the powerplay. With the bat, he hasn't come off yet. But his career would suggest that at some point someone's going to pay a price and hopefully that's Australia in a day's time."

Virat Kohli made another half-century as India took another step towards the T20 World Cup semi-finals with a 56-run victory over Netherlands at the SCG.

Kohli's magnificent unbeaten 82 gave India a dramatic win over Pakistan on Sunday and he followed that up with 62 from 44 balls as India posted 179-2 in Sydney on Thursday.

Captain Rohit Sharma struck 53 from 39 deliveries after being dropped by Tim Pringle on 13 and Suryakumar Yadav (51 not out off 25) also made a half-century to leave the Dutch facing a substantial run chase.

Netherlands never looked like pulling off a huge upset, falling short on 123-9 as they suffered defeat in as many Super 12 matches.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar (2-9) took the wicket of Vikramjit Singh and did not conceded a run in his first two overs, while Axar Patel (2-18), Ravichandran Ashwin (2-21) and Arshdeep Singh (2-37) also impressed with the ball.

Victory for India moved them a point ahead of South Africa, who hammered Bangladesh by 104 runs earlier in the day, at the top of Group 2.

 

Kohli goes back-to-back, Suryakumar shows his class

A Kohli masterclass gave India a sensational victory over Pakistan at the MCG and the former captain carried on where he left off in another classy knock.

He reached his half-century in 37 balls, hitting two sixes and finding the rope three times in another high-quality innings.

Suryakumar, number three in the T20I batting rankings, hit seven fours and reached his half-century by launching the final ball of the innings from Logan van Beek for six.

The brilliance of Bhuvneshwar 

India also demonstrated the potency of their bowling attack and it was Bhuvneshwar who set the tone.

He bowled back-to-back maidens and cleaned up before returning to get rid of captain Scott Edwards in his second spell.

Matthew Wade has tested positive for coronavirus but is expected to play in Australia's huge T20 World Cup showdown with England on Friday.

The wicketkeeper-batter returned a positive test on Wednesday evening, but only has minor symptoms.

Wade is set to feature at the MCG, provided his symptoms remain only minor, while spinner Adam Zampa is poised to play his first match of the tournament after he was sidelined by COVID-19.

Australia do not have a recognised back-up keeper in their squad after Josh Inglis suffered a hand injury prior to the tournament and was replaced by all-rounder Cameron Green.

Glenn Maxwell took the gloves in training on Thursday, but it would seem he will not be required to step in behind the stumps in a crucial Group 1 showdown.

The hosts are fifth in Group 1, two places behind England after they suffered a stunning five-run loss to Ireland by the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method in a rainy Melbourne on Wednesday.

Rilee Rossouw scored another century and Anrich Nortje shone with the ball as South Africa crushed Bangladesh by 104 runs at the T20 World Cup.

Rain frustratingly denied the Proteas an opening Group 2 win over Zimbabwe, but this time Rossouw made 109 from 56 balls and put on a stand of 163 with Quinton de Kock to help South Africa to 205-5 at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

It was a second T20I hundred in October for Rossouw, who made the first of his career against India on October 4, and set the tone for the match as Bangladesh wilted to 101 all out in their reply, thanks in a large part to the efforts of Nortje (4-10).

Each of his first three wickets came inside the opening five overs as Bangladesh's top order floundered, Litton Das' 34 off 31 their only score of note.

With their handsome victory, South Africa belatedly trouble the win column and have three points from two games, with Bangladesh having one win and one defeat to their name from their opening matches.

WILY RILEE SETS THE MARK

There were a couple of scary moments for Rossouw, who swung and missed off Hasan Mahmud in the 13th over and was put down by the same man in the following set of six.

But by and large it was a masterclass, with Rossouw smashing eight sixes and seven fours and taking the match away, alongside De Kock.

De Kock smashed 47 inside three overs against Zimbabwe when chasing a revised target of 64, only for the weather to deny him, but the wicketkeeper-batsman had 63 off 38 here (three sixes, seven fours).

NORTJE STIFLES BANGLADESH

The only slight concern for South Africa was possibly the runs they left on the field. They had 91 after 10 overs, and 171 after 15, but the final five yielded just 34 for the loss of three wickets.

They need not have worried, though, as Nortje's electric efforts had Najmul Hossain Shanto (9), Soumya Sarkar (15) and Shakib Al Hasan (1) traipsing back to leave Bangladesh 39-3 after 4.4 overs.

Tabraiz Shamsi finished with 3-20, including taking the wicket of Das, and Nortje returned to complete the job by bowling Taskin Ahmed (10).

New Zealand and Afghanistan were washed out in their second game of the T20 World Cup at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

The two sides failed to even get onto the wicket after the bad weather that forced a premature end to England's DLS-assisted defeat to Ireland at the same venue stuck around.

With not even a single ball bowled, the two teams both receive a point, which moves New Zealand top outright in Group 1 and gets Afghanistan off the mark.

The former had thrashed hosts Australia in an 89-run rout on Saturday to start their tournament off, while the latter had been downed by England in a five-wicket loss the same day.

No result hands a lifeline in particular to England, who face Australia, New Zealand and Sri Lanka with just one win under their belt following their shock loss on Wednesday.

The Black Caps will next play Sri Lanka in Sydney, while Afghanistan will remain in Melbourne to face Ireland.

England's T20 World Cup hopes were unexpectedly dented on Wednesday as they suffered a five-run defeat against Ireland in a rain-affected encounter at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Jos Buttler's side were 105-5 after 14.3 overs, chasing a total of 157, when officials were left with no choice but to bring an early end to the contest amid a downpour in Victoria.

With the weather having already forced a delay upon the Group 1 game, time subsequently ran out for a restart, and with England trailing the DLS par of 110 by five runs, it was Andrew Balbirnie's men who took a famous win.

The Ireland captain has initially helped fire his team to their first innings total with 62 off 47 deliveries, though a flurry of wickets forced a collapse from 103-1 to restrict their final score.

But early losses for England saw them fail to strike any sense of rhythm, with Buttler (0) and Alex Hales (7) dismissed inside the first three overs as they limped to 86-5 following a poor power play.

Moeen Ali (24 not out) provided some hope, with fellow big-hitter Liam Livingstone (one not out) also at the crease, but the rain ensured there would be no grandstand finish.

Irish delight

England were strong favourites to claim a sixth T20I victory in a row away from home but failed to deliver against Ireland, the second-lowest ranked side in the competition.

It blows Group 1 wide open and means England will now likely need to beat Australia, New Zealand and Sri Lanka in their remaining matches to advance to the semi-finals.

No late heroics

Moeen surpassed 1,000 runs for England in the format, making him the eighth player to do so, in what appeared to be a turning point as he struck three fours and one six.

Rain put paid to any hope of a late turnaround, though that is not to say Ireland were fortunate, with their result very much a deserved win on the back of a heavy loss to Sri Lanka.

Aaron Finch was left with mixed emotions after Australia beat Sri Lanka in the Cricket World Cup but he "couldn't hit the ball" in a "poor" innings.

Australia started the defence of their title by suffering an 89-run defeat to New Zealand in a repeat of last year's final, but the hosts responded with a seven-wicket victory at Perth Stadium on Tuesday.

Marcus Stoinis was the star of the show, blasting a record-breaking unbeaten 59 from only 18 balls to get the holders home with 21 balls to spare and move them into fourth place in Group 1.

The powerful all-rounder cleared the rope six times and struck another four boundaries to register Australia's fastest T20I half-century and the joint-second quickest in a T20 World Cup, passing 50 from only 17 deliveries.

Finch finished on 31 not out from 42 balls after watching Stoinis cut loose at the other end, and the captain gave a frank assessment of his scratchy knock.

He said in the post-match presentation: "I'm very happy [with the win]. Obviously my innings was unusual. It was poor. I just couldn't hit the ball. But I thought the way that we approached it with the bat was fine.

"It would've been nice if I could've kicked on earlier and made the chase a bit easier but all in all, pretty clinical, I think with the ball as well.

"They bowled a hard length. It was tough. It's such a big ground that you feel as though it's hard to just stand and deliver. Especially with a bit of extra bounce and when the ball is seaming slightly, you feel it's just not quite as easy to hit the middle of the bat. That's no excuse for the way I played, but it's nice to get two points."

The opener praised Stoinis following his sensational exhibition of clean striking.

"It was a pretty special innings," skipper Finch said. "To come out with that intent is the main thing. When you walk out to bat and you have that presence at the crease, that's half the battle in T20 cricket. When you have the skill and the strength that he's got, that's a pretty good combo."

Australia's next assignment will a mouthwatering clash with England at the MCG on Friday.

Marcus Stoinis hit a half-century in record time to propel Australia to a seven-wicket victory over Sri Lanka on Tuesday and get his side back on track in the T20 World Cup.

The tournament hosts were heavily beaten by New Zealand in their opener and were then set a competitive target by Sri Lanka, who reached 157-6 from their 20 overs.

Pathum Nissanka (40) top-scored for Sri Lanka, albeit using 45 balls, and Charith Asalanka (38) also contributed in an up-and-down innings that saw the Lions hit just two sixes.

Australia still had work to do with the pressure on, and they struggled early on, with David Warner (11) and Mitchell Marsh (17) falling to leave their side 60-2 in the ninth over.

However, Stoinis turned on the style by reaching his half-century in just 17 deliveries – the fastest fifty by an Australian in T20I history – en route to an unbeaten 59 from 18 balls.

Australia reached their target with 21 balls to spare in Perth for what turned out to be a run-rate-boosting win, despite Aaron Finch (31 from 42) failing to impress.

Australia back on track

This victory was Australia's third in a row against Sri Lanka at the T20 World Cup and sets up an intriguing contest against England at the MCG on Friday.

Sri Lanka had won eight of their past nine T20Is, including their Group 1 opener against Ireland, and must now dust themselves down ahead of facing New Zealand.

Stoinis stars as Finch falters

Finch scored no fours and only one six, though it did not matter thanks to the brilliant batting of Stoinis, who by comparison hit four fours and six sixes.

Stoinis overtook team-mate Warner's 18 off 50 against West Indies in 2010 as the fastest Australian to reach his half-century in the format, while only Yuvraj Singh (12 balls against England in 2007) has done so faster in the T20 World Cup.

South Africa were denied a winning start to their T20 World Cup campaign by rain in Hobart, with Quinton de Kock's Herculean effort against Zimbabwe ultimately going to waste.

Monday's contest was initially shortened to nine overs following a pre-match rain delay of over three hours, with another two overs being lost following a stoppage early in South Africa's innings.

Both sides open their Super 12 accounts with a point following a declaration of no result, which came with the Proteas requiring just 14 runs for victory following a fine innings from De Kock.

Inclement weather saw the teams exit the field after the national anthems, but South Africa looked set to begin their campaign with a win after starting well when play finally began.

Zimbabwe openers Craig Ervine (2) and Regis Chakabva (8) were gone within three overs, the former handing Wayne Parnell a routine catch before the latter feathered an edge through to De Kock.

When the former skipper made a spectacular one-handed catch to see off Sikandar Raza for a duck, Zimbabwe were faltering on 19-4, but eventually reached 79-5 thanks to Wessly Madhevere (35 not out) and Milton Shumba (18).

De Kock looked set to be the hero with the bat after the Proteas were set a revised target of 64. 

Fellow opener Temba Bavuma (2 not out) was a mere spectator as De Kock reached 47 by the end of the third over, but the weather came to Zimbabwe's aid as the rain began to lash down once more, leaving the officials with little choice but to stop play altogether.

Taskin Ahmed took four wickets as Bangladesh beat Netherlands by nine runs in their first game of the T20 World Cup at Bellerive Oval.

Afif Hossain top scored with 38 as the Tigers were restricted to 144-8 in their opening Group 2 game in Hobart on Monday.

Paul van Meekeren (2-21) and Bas de Leede (2-29) claimed two wickets apiece to keep Bangladesh down to a total that the Dutch would have felt they could chase down.

Paceman ensured it was advantage Bangladesh by taking two wickets with the first two deliveries of the run chase, dismissing Vikramjit Singh and De Leede.

Netherlands were deep in the mire at 15-4 after Max O'Dowd and Tom Cooper were run out, but a half-century from Colin Ackermann gave them hope.

Ackermann struck 62 off 48 balls, but he lacked support and the Dutch were all out for 135.

Taskin too hot to handle

It was an impressive spell with the ball from Taskin, who took four wickets in a T20I for the first time in his career.

His figures of 4-25 earned him the player of the match award, removing Ackermann and Shariz Ahmad after his brilliant first over. 

Ackermann shows resistance 

It proved to be in vain, but Ackermann impressed with the bat after coming in at number four.

He scored two of Netherlands' four sixes, while also hitting six fours as to prevent his side from being embarrassed. 

Virat Kohli produced what captain Rohit Sharma hailed as one of the greatest innings by an India batsman in the dramatic victory over Pakistan at the T20 World Cup.

Pakistan looked to be well in control after tallying 159-8 in front of over 90,000 spectators at the MCG and then reducing India to 31-4 in reply.

However, Kohli struck 82 not out, sharing in a fifth-wicket stand of 113 with Hardik Pandya along the way.

When Pakistan's Mohammad Nawaz wobbled under the pressure of delivering the final over of the match, India took advantage and snatched a four-wicket win over their great rivals with a single from the final ball.

India needed 28 from eight balls at one stage, but consecutive sixes from Kohli off Haris Rauf at the end of the 19th over changed that to 16 from six.

Amid high drama as India lost both Pandya (40) and Dinesh Karthik (1) in the closing over, Kohli helped the team he used to skipper over the line.

Rohit said of Kohli's effort: "It is definitely his best for sure. From the situation we were in, and to come out with victory, I think it has to be one of India's best knocks, not just his best knock.

"Because still in the 13th over we were so behind the game and the required rate was climbing up and up. To come out and chase that score was an extremely brilliant effort from Virat, and Hardik played a role there."

Kohli ceded the white-ball captaincy to Rohit soon after last year's T20 World Cup, and Sunday's hero in Melbourne had been struggling for runs until recently finding a little spark.

Rohit said: "We know the qualities that he has, and he's done so well in these type of conditions in all three forms, so obviously he used his experience today more than anything else – staying calm under pressure.

"We know how good he is when the score is in front of him. He's one of the best chasers in the world, so I thought that 100-run partnership was a game-changing moment."

Kohli initially struggled to contextualise what he achieved.

He said at the post-match presentation: "It's a surreal atmosphere, I have no words, no idea how that happened. I am really lost for words.

"The calculation was simple. Nawaz had one over to bowl, so if I could take Haris down, they would panic. From 28 in eight, it came down to 16 in six. I tried to stick to my instincts."

On reflection, Kohli agreed it rated as one of his finest innings. He ranked it even above another famous 82 not out – one that he scored against Australia in Mohali, in the 2016 edition of this competition.

"Standing here, I just feel like it was meant to be," he said. "Till today, Mohali was my best innings, against Australia. Today, I will count this one higher."

Virat Kohli produced a remarkable innings as India pulled off an incredible and contentious victory over Pakistan, who suffered a collapse that will live long in the memory in their T20 World Cup opener.

Pakistan looked to be cruising to victory in the latest edition of this great rivalry, having posted 159-8 in front of over 90,000 fans at the MCG, where they then reduced India to 31-4.

Kohli (82 not out) was at his brilliant best as he rebuilt the innings alongside Hardik Pandya in a fifth-wicket stand of 113, but it still appeared as if it would not be enough.

India needed 31 off the final 12 balls, but successive sixes from Kohli, one down the ground and one over fine leg, on the final two deliveries of the penultimate over pulled them within 16.

Mohammad Nawaz took the wicket of Pandya off the first ball of the final over and conceded three off the next two, only to then lose his accuracy and composure at the worst possible time.

A high no-ball was hit for six by Kohli, giving India a free hit from which they controversially ran three despite the ball hitting the wickets. With India needing two off two balls, Dinesh Karthik was stumped, seemingly tilting the balance improbably back in Pakistan's favour. However, Nawaz then stunningly bowled a wide, giving Ravichandran Ashwin another delivery from which he hit the winning run to complete an astonishing turnaround.

Pakistan's pain 

Defeat for Pakistan means they have lost all four of the men's T20I matches they have played in Australia. It remains the only country in which they have not tasted victory.

That will surely change at some stage during the Super 12, but they and Nawaz will need picking up after somehow letting this one slip.

Vintage Virat

Kohli has recently rediscovered form that appeared beyond him in the shortest format earlier in the year, and this was the India legend at his very best.

He has posted a larger score five times during his T20I career, but none of those innings will carry the same significance as his key contribution to this bewitching spectacle.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.