ITDC INDIA EPRESS/ ITDC NEWS As tournament favourites India take on Black caps New Zealand in the first semifinal of the ongoing cricket World Cup in Manchester's Old Trafford on Tuesday, fans from both the cricket-loving nations are gearing up for a great game. However, it could end up being a damp squib as the match on Tuesday is under threat from the tounrey's biggest challenger this time—rain.
According to the British met department, cloudy skies will dominate Manchester through the day on Tuesday, there is a possible risk of light and patchy rain. There is about 35 per cent chance for isolated shower, especially in the evening, the weatherman predicts.
While an overcast sky was predicted, the rain forecast has worsened since Monday. However, conditions in the afternoon are likely to be drier. The India-New Zealand match is scheduled to begin at 10:30am, local time. "Temperatures in Manchester are likely to rise from around 15°C at the start of the match to a maximum of 19°C during the mid-afternoon. This is near normal for July in the area. The light winds will be south-westerly, and are likely to slowly change into westerly winds later in the day," The Weather Channel reports.
However, there is a slight breather as there is a reserve day for the semifinal match between India and New Zealand. Even if the match is washed out on Tuesday, it would resume on Wednesday, with the same toss result as the day before.
Unprecedented rains, blame it on climate change, saw four matches being washed out—the maximum in any world cup—in the current edition. Three matches, including an India vs Paksitan match, saw rain interruptions.
Interestingly, India's lone match that was washed out was against New Zealand. And hence, the semifinal will be the first time the teams would be playing each other in the current world cup.
The odds are predicatably stacked in favour of the Men in Blue on Tuesday. India made it to the semifinal as table-toppers, having lost only one match—against hosts England. While New Zealand started the tournament on a great note, they lost three consecutive matches towards the end of round-robin stage, and almost managed to finish fourth in the table.
However, it is to be noted that India had lost its warm-up game against New Zealand ahead of the World Cup.