Australia’s semifinal prospects in the ICC Champions was severely dented on Wednesday after its crucial Group A match against Trans-Tasman rival New Zealand was washed out.
Both New Zealand and Australia have garnered a point each from the washed-out encounter.
New Zealand, which defeated Sri Lanka by one wicket in its tournament opener, is 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 which is yet to open its tally.
New Zealand will now face England in its last group match, while Australia faces a must-win situation against Sri Lanka in its final league match.
However, a win against Sri Lanka alone won’t guarantee Australia a place in the semifinals as its fate would hang on the results of the remaining Group A matches.
Chasing Australia’s 243 for eight, New Zealand was 51 for two after 15 overs when rain played spoilsport, forcing the on-field umpires to call for the covers.
Kane Williamson (18 not out) and Ross Taylor (9 not out) were at the crease when rain interrupted the game.
Luke Ronchi (14) and Martin Guptill (8) were the two Kiwi batsmen to depart with pacer Clint McKay (two for 10) accounting for both the wickets.
Although the rain stopped later on, the nearly two-hour long downpour rendered the ground unplayable, forcing the umpires to call off the game.
Earlier, Adam Voges top-scored with a 76-ball 71 as Australia laboured to a fighting 243 for eight.
Besides Voges, stand-in skipper George Bailey contributed a patient 55 off 91 balls, his second consecutive fifty.
However, it was Glenn Maxwell’s cameo towards the end that propped up Australia’s run rate and took the score past 240. Maxwell remained unbeaten on 29 off 22 balls and hit two sixes and a four. He added 24 runs of a mere 14 balls with Clint McKay for the ninth-wicket.
Voges and Bailey were the ones to have made noteworthy contributions for Australia.
Mitchell McClenaghan was the most successful bowler for New Zealand, returning figures of four for 65 in 10 overs, his second such haul after his effort in the win against Sri Lanka on Sunday.
Nathan McCullum picked up two for 46.
Fall of wickets: 1-5 (Watson), 2-10 (Hughes), 3-74 (Wade), 4-151 (Bailey), 5-193 (Marsh), 6-196 (Voges), 7-210 (Faulkner), 8-219 (Johnson).
New Zealand bowling: Mills 6-1-19-0, McClenaghan 10-0-65-4, Vettori 10-1-23-0, Southee 4-1-26-0, N. McCullum 10-0-46-2, Williamson 10-0-56-1.
New Zealand: Luke Ronchi c Watson b McKay 14 (17b, 2x4), Martin Guptill c Maxwell b McKay 8 (13b, 1x4), Kane Williamson (not out) 18 (37b, 1x4), Ross Taylor (not out) 9 (23b); Extras (lb-1, w-1): 2; Total (for two wkts. in 15 overs): 51.
Fall of wickets: 1-18 (Guptill), 2-26 (Ronchi).
Australia bowling: Johnson 4-0-18-0, McKay 4-0-10-2, Watson 3-1-11-0, Faulkner 3-0-7-0, Doherty 1-0-4-0.