Rain has been following Afghanistan quite extensively during this year’s T20 World Cup. Their second warm-up game against Pakistan was abandoned, following a heavy downpour at the Gabba. If that wasn’t enough, their second clash in the tournament – against New Zealand – too was washed out without a ball being bowled, giving them their first point of this year’s tournament.
On Friday, they were once again at the receiving end of rain, with their third fixture of the tournament, their second at the MCG being washed out without a ball bowled. While Ireland benefitted from the rain the other day against England, they are left with no choice but to split points with Afghanistan here.
Afghanistan skipper, Mohammad Nabi expressed his disappointment over the development, calling it a shame to not play at the amazing MCG.
“Very disappointed to be not playing at such an amazing ground. Me and Rash (Rashid) played a lot of BBL 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,” he said following the match.
The Asian side had a prime opportunity of beating England in their opener but a plethora of missed opportunities, in the field led to them letting go of two points. Nabi insisted that their plan the other night against England was to get to a total of 140-150, which could have proved to provide a stern test for the Three Lions.
“The preparation was really good, we learned a lot from our first game against England and worked on our particular mistakes. We were fully ready for these 2 games, but unfortunately we did not get to play. The plan was to put score on the board and bring the spinners into the game during the chase, in the first game also we did few mistakes which is why we couldn't get to the 140-150 score.”
This year’s T20 World Cup has already provided the fans with two last-ball thrillers, involving Pakistan. On the clash with Zimbabwe, Nabi stated that it was a close game and credited the African side for putting truckload of pressure on them.
“We watched last 2 games, it was a close game between Zimbabwe and Pakistan. Zimbabwe played really well and fought till the last ball, all the teams are trying to win some games in the World Cup,” he added.
All is not lost yet for Afghanistan, who have registered two points in three fixtures. But given that England and Australia have played a game less, it can all boil down to net run-rate at the end of the day.
Ireland, on the other hand, would rue the lost opportunity to rack up more points, after their win against England in the previous fixture. Their skipper, Andrew Balbirnie insisted that they can only do as much about the weather.
"Very disappointing. We'd played good cricket and were looking forward to this. Can't do much about the weather. We struggled with the West Indies facing Sri Lanka. We tried to back up the win, unlike before, after the England game and turn up today but couldn't. We will fly up tomorrow. It'll be like a different country up in Brisbane. We want to push the champions. Lots of things happening, so it's difficult," Balbirnie said.