Australia were well on track to win their fourth consecutive T20I at home on Sunday but for rains. The hosts won the toss in the first game of the three-match series against Pakistan in Sydney and sent the visitors to bat and restricted them to 107 for 5 in 15 overs. They were then conveniently placed at 41 for no less in just 3.1 overs when the game was called off.
As per the rules, the Australian innings needed to see the completion of five overs for the game to be considered a completed one but it was not to be as 11 balls were left to be delivered. Australian captain Aaron Finch, who was on fire with 37 runs in just 16 balls, was left frustrated and he questioned the decision of having a 20-minute break between innings in the rain-hit match.
Doesn’t make much sense, says Aaron Finch
“If you’re cutting overs off the game and you still have a 20-minute break, it doesn’t make much sense to me. When you lose a few overs and then you still have a 20-minute break… I thought that was really interesting. But it’s part of the rules and you can’t do much about it,” Aaron Finch, who had a decent run with the bat in the recent series against Sri Lanka, said after the match.
Javagal Srinath, the ICC match referee who officiated in the game, could apply Clause 11.4.2 of the playing conditions to “reduce the interval” but the former India cricketer chose against doing it.
“… 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,” reads the clause.
Australia needed 39 runs at the end of five overs to win the game and take 1-0 lead and were definite winners if they went on to block the next 11 deliveries that were mandatory to complete the innings. Australia gloveman Alex Carey later said that the home team had asked the match officials for the duration of the mid-innings interval and were told that the standard 20-minute break would follow.
He though considered it a part of the game that they came so close to winning but yet couldn’t have it. The second T20I will be played in Canberra on Tuesday.