Rain threat looms over Pakistan-England World Cup final
Dark clouds hovering over Melbourne keep epic match on tenterhooks: Summit clash could be moved to reserve day: Prospect of a shared trophy could be on the cards
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It’s drizzling in Melbourne at the moment but the dark cloud hovering over the entire Australian city. The La Nina weather phenomenon has put the T20 World Cup 2022 final between Pakistan and England today under serious threat.
The Bureau of Meteorology of Australia has predicted almost 80-90% chances of non-stop rain starting from 5:30PM local time. This means the summit clash can be moved to the reserve day on Monday (tomorrow).
“Cloudy. Very high (near 100%) chance of showers. The chance of a thunderstorm, possibly severe with heavy falls. Winds east to northeasterly 15 to 25 km/h turning north to northwesterly 25 to 35 km/h during the morning then decreasing to 15 to 20 km/h in the evening,” the Australia MET department has predicted.
On the reserve day, a 3 pm (local time) slot has been allotted with an additional two hours in place to complete the game. But the frustration might continue on the back-up day as well with the meteorological department predicting a 95 percent chance of showers (5 to 10 mm) on Monday.
There will be some nervous looks skywards over the coming days in Melbourne with rain threatening the men's T20 World Cup final, raising the prospect of the reserve day being needed and even a shared trophy.
For the knockout matches in the tournament a minimum of 10 overs per side is needed to constitute a match, compared to five overs during the group stages.
The first priority will be to complete a shortened match on Sunday if required, meaning the overs will be reduced before the reserve day is activated. If the game has started on Sunday but can't be completed then it will resume on the reserve day from the position it was halted. Once the toss has taken place, the game is considered live.
As Pakistan's spectacular performance in T20 World Cup 2022 continues, PTV Sports offers a unique opportunity to cherish every moment of the World Cup Final at live screening in F-9 Park Islamabad. Good Luck Team Pakistan 🇵🇰 pic.twitter.com/FWHmPUYvBQ— Marriyum Aurangzeb (@Marriyum_A) November 12, 2022
If the game begins on Sunday and there is a reduction of overs but play does not have a chance to restart due to weather then the game will resume as a 20-over contest on the reserve day.
While only 30 minutes of extra time are allocated to the original day of the final, if the reserve day is used there are four extra hours available with play starting on the Monday at 3pm local time.
"The Event Technical Committee (ETC) has increased the provision of additional playing time on the reserve day to four hours from the original provision of two hours (clause 13.7.3 of the Playing Conditions), in case more time is required to complete the match and get a result," an ICC release stated.
"It may be noted that 10 overs per side are required to constitute a match in the knockout stage and every effort will be taken to complete the match on the scheduled match day. Every effort will be made for the match to be completed on Sunday, with any necessary reduction of overs taking place and only if the minimum number of overs necessary to constitute a match cannot be bowled on Sunday will the match go into the reserve day. Play on the reserve day will begin at 15h00 and would be a continuation of play from the scheduled match day."
If there is not enough time over the two days to achieve the minimum overs the trophy would be shared. The 2002-03 Champions Trophy between India and Sri Lanka ended in such a way although under the playing conditions at the time a new game was started on the reserve day. Both matches were abandoned at virtually the same point. In the 2019 ODI World Cup, the semi-final between India and New Zealand at Old Trafford was played across two days.
Melbourne has been badly hit by rain during this tournament with three Super 12 matches abandoned without a ball bowled: New Zealand vs Afghanistan, Afghanistan vs Ireland and Australia vs England. The England-Ireland game in Melbourne was also curtailed by rain, but Ireland were able to take a famous win on DLS.
Aside from the South Africa-Zimbabwe game in Hobart which was also a no result, the rest of the tournament has largely escaped the rain during what has been a wet start to summer across the east and south east of Australia.
The forecast was also poor leading into the India-Pakistan game at the MCG but cleared to allow a full game with the contest developing into one of the best T20 matches of all time. Organisers, players and supporters will hope the final is graced with the same good luck.
T20 World Cup final factfile
Factfile on Sunday's Twenty20 World Cup final between England and Pakistan at the Melbourne Cricket Ground:
T20 World Cup titles
England - 1 (2010)
Pakistan 1 (2009)
Top scorer at 2022 T20 World Cup: Alex Hales - 211 runs
Top wicket-taker: Sam Curran - 10
Path to final:
Beat Afghanistan by five wickets at Perth
Lost to Ireland by five runs (DLS method) at Melbourne
No result v Australia (rain) at Melbourne
Beat New Zealand by 20 runs at Brisbane
Beat Sri Lanka by four wickets at Sydney
Beat India by 10 wickets at Adelaide
Top scorer at 2022 T20 World Cup: Mohammad Rizwan - 160
Top wicket-taker: Shaheen Shah Afridi and Shadab Khan - 10
Path to final:
Lost to India by four wickets at Melbourne
Lost to Zimbabwe by one run at Perth
Beat Netherlands by six wickets at Perth
Beat South Africa by 33 runs (DLS method) at Sydney
Beat Bangladesh by five wickets at Adelaide
Beat New Zealand by seven wickets at Sydney
England lead 18-9. One match ended without a result
First T20 International meeting
August 29, 2006, Bristol. Pakistan won by five wickets with 13 balls remaining after chasing down England's 144-7.
Last T20 International meeting
October 3, 2022, Lahore. England won by 67 runs to seal the series 4-3 after blitzing 209-3 and then restricting Pakistan to 142-8.
England's big total came on the back of an unbeaten 78 from Dawid Malan and Harry Brook's 48 not out. In reply, Pakistan folded under the bowling of Chris Woakes (3-26) and David Willey (2-22). Only three batsmen made double figures, led by Shan Masood's 56.