New Zealand will resume on 211 for five after the end of an attritional innings was curtailed by rain, prompting their World Cup semi-final against India to be taken to a reserve day.
Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor registered battling half-centuries on a sluggish Old Trafford surface, where early seam movement under heavy cloud cover and turn for the spinners made life difficult for the Kiwi batsmen.
Taylor struggled for fluency but was gradually building momentum before a steady drizzle turned heavier as the players were brought off at 2pm local time, with the Black Caps 3.5 overs short of completing their innings.
The showers briefly relented at 5.30pm to raise hopes of completing the fixture, albeit with India facing a 20-over chase, but then returned, ensuring play will be deferred until Wednesday morning at 10.30am, weather permitting.
International Cricket Council regulations mean New Zealand will carry on where they left off, with Taylor on 67 not out alongside Tom Latham (3no) as they look to push their side on to a competitive total in a match that is still 50 overs per side.
Williamson may have been swayed by this ground’s past five matches in the tournament, in which those who had batted first had gone on to win. But under leaden skies, it was always going to be a risk to bat first and that was borne out when Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah found some movement early on.
The leading run-scorer of the 2015 World Cup, Martin Guptill made an ominous start a few weeks ago in Cardiff when he blazed his way to 73 off 51 balls to help New Zealand to a 10-wicket win over Sri Lanka. However, he has only passed double figures in two of his seven innings since then and looked horribly out of form in Manchester. He was spared a third golden duck of the tournament when Hawkeye showed Kumar’s delivery was sliding down leg but was soon on his way for one off 14 balls when he prodded at Bumrah, with Virat Kohli taking a fine head-high catch moving to his left.
Taylor had found the boundary rope on just two occasions – one of them via a thick outside edge off Yuzvendra Chahal which flew to the right of first slip – in reaching 44 from 72 balls. The veteran had struggled for timing throughout but then threw caution to the wind with a slog sweep off Chahal which flew into the stands at deep midwicket for New Zealand’s first six of the innings in the 44th over. That took Taylor to his 50th half-century in one-day internationals.
Ravindra Jadeja’s most significant contribution up until the final group game was as a ubiquitous substitute fielder, such is his proficiency at the job. There was some mirth when he was finally called up into the starting XI against Sri Lanka at the weekend but there were raised eyebrows when he retained his place ahead of Kuldeep Yadav. There ought not to have been as slow left armer Jadeja offered New Zealand precious little gifts in taking one for 34. His ball to see off Henry Nicholls was a beauty, darting back in between the gate to castle the left-hander.
July 10: India v New Zealand at Old Trafford (reserve day)