The first of three Twenty20s between Australia and Pakistan on Sunday in Sydney was abandoned due to rain, with no result declared.
The home team were set 119 to win under the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method after Pakistan scored 107 for five off a reduced 15 overs, sandwiched between a rain break.
Captain Aaron Finch smashed 37 off the opening 3.1 overs in the run chase, with Australia heading for victory before the rain returned and the game was called off. Australia were 41 without loss at the time, with David Warner alongside Finch on two.
Speaking after the match, Finch was frustrated with the way things panned out for his side despite dominating the match for a considerable period of time and lashes out at ICC rules.
The hosts were already ahead of where they needed to be after five overs, but fell 11 balls short of what would’ve been a complete game.
Under the ICC playing conditions, the power rests with the match-referee who could reduce the innings-break to 10 minutes at their discretion: “… following a lengthy delay or interruption prior to the completion of the innings of the team batting first, the Match Referee may, at his discretion, reduce the interval between innings from 20 minutes to not less than 10 minutes,” so goes Clause 11.4.2.
In this case however, Javagal Srinath – the man in question – didn’t exercise that option which could’ve provided enough time for those 11 balls.
“It’s frustrating. The 20 minute break in between innings was an interesting one. When you lose a few overs and then you still have a 20 minute break I thought that was really interesting. It probably played out of our hands at that moment. But you can’t do too much about the weather,” said Finch after the match.
“If you’re cutting overs off the game and you still have a 20 minute break it doesn’t make much sense to me. But it’s part of the rules and you can’t do much about it.”
“We played really well. To restrict them to 107 off 15 overs was a great effort and then to be on track to get them was nice. When you’re old and fat you get a bit of luck sometimes. It was nice to get a few out of the middle. Like I said, a bit unfortunate the rain played such a part,” he added.
Australia wicketkeeper Alex Carey downplayed the situation but revealed that his team had enquired about the duration of the changeover with the match officials but were told that the standard 20-minute break would stand.
“We asked the question, what the changeover would have been, and it remains the same so we were aware of that and can’t change it. The boys did a great job getting the start, just a shame it was probably five minutes too late.
“It’s disappointing to be so close, but it’s part of the game. It’s one of the things we can’t change. The spectators would have liked a result, but we understand it. Good or bad, it’s part of it,” said Carey.
Speaking at the post-match press conference, Rizwan said that his side would have been in a better position if they had played the entire quota of overs.
“With the start they [Australia] got while chasing the target, it seemed as if the game was going away from us but you have to realise that our batting was also hampered due to the rain interruption,” said Rizwan. “We made a good comeback after losing quick wickets initially and were on track to score around 160-170, which would have been difficult to chase on this pitch.”
The wicketkeeper-batsman also heaped praise on Azam and the impact the later had on the entire side.
“Babar Azam is a really good player and we learn a lot by playing around him,” he said. “He is one of the major reasons why we are ranked the number one T20 side of the world.”
The series moves to Canberra on Tuesday and a final game in Perth.