Rain threatens trophy share in T20 World Cup final


The T20 World Cup could be shared for the first time in its history with rain threatening to wreak havoc with this weekend’s final between England and Pakistan in Melbourne.

England are looking to win the tournament for the first time since 2019 having decimated India by 10 wickets in Thursday’s semi-final in Adelaide, while Pakistan are looking to repeat their 2009 triumph after overcoming New Zealand by seven wickets in their last-four clash in Sydney a day earlier.

However, both sides could yet hold the trophy aloft if the inclement weather prevents at least a 10-over-a-side game from being completed across Sunday or Monday’s reserve day.

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Watch highlights from England’s stunning 10-wicket win over India in the T20 World Cup semi-final at Adelaide Oval

There is currently a 95 per cent chance of rain on Sunday between 15 and 25mm and a 95 per cent chance of rain on Monday between five and 10mm.

Organisers have added an extra two hours to the playing time on the reserve day should it be required, with seven hours and 10 minutes now available on the Monday.

The final is scheduled to start at 8am UK time on Sunday and if play begins but is then paused due to rain, the game will resume from that point on Monday rather than be restarted.

If the reserve day is needed, play will start at 4am UK time, although the grim forecast for Monday raises the prospect of joint winners.

Rain has already washed out three matches at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in this tournament – England vs Australia, Afghanistan vs New Zealand and Afghanistan vs Ireland – while Ireland’s victory over England at the venue was rain-affected.

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Watch the highlights as Pakistan reach the T20 World Cup final after a dominant win over New Zealand in Sydney

Melbourne does have a venue with a roof – Marvel Stadium in the Docklands area – but there is no chance the International Cricket Council will move the game.

Tournament conditions also state that “every effort” will be made to complete the final on Sunday, even if that results in a shortened contest.

A minimum of five-overs-a-side were needed to constitute a match in the group stages but that is upped to 10 for the knockout stages.

England opener Alex Hales, who thumped an unbeaten 86 from 47 balls in his side’s win over India, said: “I’ve got one eye on [the forecast] and it looks like an inch of rain, but you never know. Fingers crossed.”

Watch England vs Pakistan in the T20 World Cup final live on Sky Sports Cricket on Sunday. Build-up gets under way at 7am ahead of an 8am start at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

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