Rain frustrates Australia and New Zealand

BIRMINGHAM: The Champions Trophy Group A match between Australia and New Zealand was abandoned because of rain at Edgbaston, Birmingham on Wednesday.

New Zealand had reached 51 for two from 15 overs chasing 244 for victory when rain forced the players off the field and the umpires called the game off at 1815 local time.

New Zealand needed to bat for at least 20 overs for a result to be determined by the Duckworth/Lewis scoring method so both teams were awarded one point each.

New Zealand top the group standings with three points from two matches and Australia, who lost to England in their opener, have one. England will qualify for the semi-finals if they beat Sri Lanka on Thursday.

The Australians, missing injured captain Michael Clarke and suspended opener David Warner, struggled on a slow wicket after winning the toss.

Shane Watson was caught by wicketkeeper Luke Ronchi off fast bowler Mitchell McClenaghan for five and Phil Hughes was run out for nought after sharp work by Martin Guptill to leave Australia

reeling on 10 for two.

Captain George Bailey and Matthew Wade steadied the innings with a third-wicket partnership of 64 and Bailey scored 55 off 91 balls before he was bowled by spinner Nathan McCullum.

Adam Voges made a breezy 71 off 76 balls, including seven fours, but he became McClenaghan’s third victim when he mistimed a full toss straight to Brendon McCullum at short extra cover.

Experienced New Zealand spinner Daniel Vettori completed miserly figures of none for 23 from his 10 overs and McClenaghan took four for 65.

Glenn Maxwell collected 18 runs off the 49th over, including two sixes, to lift Australian hopes.

New Zealand also struggled in reply, pace bowler Clint McKay claiming the wickets of openers Martin Guptill (8) and Ronchi (14) before the rain came. (Reuters)