Scotland’s hopes of T20 World Cup upset against England ruined by rain

The first abandonment of this T20 World Cup came between two countries not unfamiliar with the wet stuff. But Scotland could probably feel more aggrieved than England by the end of this Group B match, ­having made the bulk of the running in between the downpours that eventually scuppered proceedings.

It was a day that had promised plenty too. A small but lively crowd had pitched up for this 10.30am start, with children from Jofra Archer’s old school, Christ Church Foundation, among them. Sir Garfield Sobers was looking on from a wicker chair at the top of the Worrell, Weekes and Walcott Stand, while, in contrast to his regal air, visiting fans larked about in the swimming pool on the boundary’s edge.

Sadly, just 10 stop-start overs of cricket were possible in between the warm but ruinous rain showers, George Munsey (41) and Michael Jones (45) crashing Scotland to 90 for no loss as England slightly stumbled out of the blocks.

Had the teams got back on, Jos ­Buttler’s men would have needed 109 from 10 overs to win; a chal­lenging but not impossible target given their array of power-hitters.

As it was, the two sides left with a point apiece to start their campaigns, albeit with England feeling a touch less buoyant from their performance.

“I thought we were a bit sloppy in the field, with a bit of nerves at the start of the tournament,” their head coach, Matthew Mott, said before insisting that, with 10 wickets in hand, the ball increasingly slippery in the wet, they would still have fancied the chase.

England will need to be far sharper against Australia on Saturday than was witnessed here. After a delayed start – in part because of water had leaked through the covers and on to the pitch – a couple of misfields in the ring and a wicket off a no-ball from Mark Wood enabled Scotland to reach 51 for no loss from the initial 6.2 overs.

Not that Scotland weren’t good value here, Jones the chief aggressor in this phase by reaching 32 from 23 balls and cracking 15 runs off the sixth over from Chris Jordan. This included one breathtaking six from the ­Durham right-hander, the ball soaring on to the roof of the ­Greenidge and Haynes Stand and smashing a solar panel.

Michael Jones hits a shot for Scotland against England. Photograph: Randy Brooks/AFP/Getty Images

When the match eventually resumed at 2.10pm local time after more than two hours of waiting, its structure had been reconfigured to 10 overs per side and a revised target for England. Scotland’s innings would first need to be completed with England two bowlers down, Wood and Archer – who was quick but wicketless in his first World Cup match since 2019 – having sent down their allocation by this point.

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This time it was Munsey who put his foot down, the left-hander who had earlier profited from Wood’s overstep helping to cart Adil Rashid for 18 runs in the eighth over. Rashid, ­battling with a bar of soap in his hands, did manage to claw things back in the final over until Jones slog swept the last delivery of the innings square for four.

But as Scotland went through some warm-ups on the outfield ­during the change of innings, a third and final deluge saw the return of the dreaded covers and pushed things past the 2.52pm cut off point.

“We certainly gave ourselves a chance,” said Richie Berrington, whose Scotland side will now face Namibia here on Thursday.

The Guardian