Australia captain Aaron Finch has questioned the need for a 20-minute interval during the rain-ruined T20I against Pakistan at the SCG. The match was abandoned 11 balls before the second innings constituted a game, with Australia well ahead in the chase.
Australia were 0 for 41 after 3.1 overs when rain returned and there was no chance for the match to resume before the cut-off time. Pakistan’s innings had been interrupted by a lengthy stoppage after 12.4 overs and then resumed for 14 deliveries before the standard break between innings was taken.
“If you’re cutting overs off the game and you still have a 20-minute break, it doesn’t make much sense to me,” Finch said in his post-match TV interview. “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.”
The ICC playing conditions give the match referee – in this case Javagal Srinath – the discretion to reduce the interval to 10 minutes but that was not exercised.
Clause 11.4.2 of the playing conditions states: “… 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.”
Vice-captain Alex Carey said that Australia had approached the match officials about what the length of the interval would be and were told that standard break would remain.
“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,” Carey said. “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 things we can’t change. The spectators would have liked a result, but we understand it. Good or bad, it’s part of it.”
Had there been time to resume the game for 11 more deliveries to make it a match, the five-over target would have been 39 so Australia were already ahead of that mark. Had the rain not arrived, Pakistan could have fought back with wickets but this was certainly a case of them escaping what was shaping up as a defeat following Finch’s onslaught against Mohammad Irfan – his second over cost 26.
Other than captain Babar Azam they couldn’t find much impetus with the bat, although the stoppage after 12.4 overs worked against them as they had to restart for just 14 more deliveries.
“If the match had continued for 20 overs, we should have come up with 160-170. It really effected our team plan,” Mohammad Rizwan said. “We lost early wickets but we had wickets in hand for the last few overs, then the rain came.”