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Rediff.com  » Cricket » Champions Trophy: Australia-New Zealand match washed out

Champions Trophy: Australia-New Zealand match washed out

June 12, 2013 23:21 IST

Australia's semi-final prospects in the ICC Champions Trophy was severely dented after their crucial Group A match against New Zealand was abandoned because of rain in Birmingham, on Wednesday.

Both Australia and New Zealand got one point apiece from the washout encounter.

New Zealand were struggling at 51 for two in 15 overs with pacer Clint McKay claiming both the wickets to fall.

- PHOTOS: Australia vs New Zealand

Kane Williamson was unbeaten on 18 (37 balls), while Ross Taylor was on nine when rain stopped play. Although the rain stopped later on but the nearly two-hour long downpour rendered the ground unplayable, forcing the umpires to call of the game.

Martin Guptill was the first wicket to fall when he was caught at point by Glenn Maxwell for eight. Former Australia player Luke Ronchi made just 14 before he was caught at gully by Shane Watson as New Zealand struggled in the early overs.

New Zealand, who defeated Sri Lanka by one wicket in their tournament opener, are at the top of Group A with three points from two games, followed by England (2 points 1 match), Australia (1 point from 2 matches) and Sri Lanka who are yet to open their tally.

New Zealand will now face England in their last group match, while Australia face a must-win situation against Sri Lanka in their final encounter.

However, a win against Sri Lanka alone won't guarantee Australia a place in the semi-finals as their fate would hang on the results of the other matches in Group A.

Earlier, Adam Voges top-scored with a 76-ball 71 as Australia posted a competitive 243 for eight in their 50 overs.

Australia captain George Bailey played a crucial role in the recovery as he played a patient knock of 55 off 91 balls.

Glenn Maxwell provided the boost towards the end with a quickfire knock of 29 from 22 balls, hitting two sixes and a four, adding 24 runs from 14 balls with Clint Mckay for the ninth-wicket.

Bailey and Voges added 77 runs from 16 overs for the fourth wicket after Australia were reduced to 74 for three in the 19th over.

Mitchell McClenaghan was the most successful bowler for New Zealand, returning with figures of four for 65 in 10 overs, while Nathan McCullum picked up two for 46.

Electing to bat, Australia were off to a disastrous start as they lost two wickets, including opener Shane Watson, with just 10 runs on the board.

Bailey along with opener Matthew Wade -- playing in place of David Warner who was axed from the team on disciplinary ground -- added 64 runs for the third wicket to stabilise Australia's innings.

McCullum gave New Zealand a breakthrough, having Wade trapped in front of the wicket after the Aussie had struggled his way to 29 off 57 balls.

Bailey and Voges helped Australia make good progress in the middle overs before when McCullum bowled the Australian captain, who hit five fours in his 91-ball knock.

McClenaghan gave New Zealand their most important breakthrough as he had Voges caught by skipper Brendon McCullum. The 33-year-old Aussie struck seven boundaries.

Among other Kiwi bowlers, Daniel Vettori had a good outing as he conceded just 23 runs off his quota of 10 overs, though he could not take a wicket.

Photograph: Michael Steele/Getty Images