Rain plays spoilsport as Australia, New Zealand split points

Birmingham, June 13 (IANS) Australia and New Zealand split points after rain played spoilsport in the trans-Tasman clash in Group A of the Champions Trophy at the Edgbaston here Wednesday.

New Zealand, chasing a target of 244, were 51 for two in the 15th over with Kane Williamson batting on 18 and Ross Taylor on nine when the skies opened up and play couldn’t resume.

For Australia, who had lost the first match to hosts England, it seems their Champions Trophy campaign is all but over despite the fact that they got the first points of the tournament.

They could be out even before they play their next match if England or New Zealand win their next match.

New Zealand, however, are still in the hunt and if England beat Sri Lanka Wednesday they are most likely to get into the semi-finals.

The day started on a bad note for Australia and as the day progressed it just worsened.

First their skipper Michael Clarke missed out again due to injury and shortly before the match David Warner was excluded for a drunken brawl with an English player over the weekend at a Birmingham bar.

Opting to bat first, Shane Watson’s poor form with the bat continued and he departed in the second over caught behind by former team mate Luke Ronchi off Mitchell McClenaghan (4/65) after contributing just five.

Matthew Wade (29) and stand-in skipper George Bailey (55) tried to rescue the innings with their 64-run stand for the third wicket.

Wade was trapped leg-before by spinner Nathan McCullum (2/46) and then Bailey and Adam Voges (71) joined forces for a 77-run stand for the fourth wicket.

Mitchell Marsh (22) and Glenn Maxwell (29) also came up with valuable scores.

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