Rain forces WC semi into second day
MANCHESTER, England (AP):
The first Cricket World Cup semi-final will run into a second day after persistent rain prematurely ended play yesterday with New Zealand labouring to 211-5 against India at Old Trafford, with 3.5 overs still to bat in the innings.
Ross Taylor was unbeaten on 67 -- the same score made by New Zealand captain Kane Williamson -- and was starting to get on top of India's bowlers for the first time before forecasted showers arrived over the Manchester ground at 2 p.m. local time.
The rain lasted throughout the afternoon. The covers briefly came off the outfield at 5.30 p.m. and officials had an inspection, only for play to be abandoned for the day 50 minutes later.
The teams will return today -- the designated reserve day for the first semi-final -- and the Black Caps will resume an innings that started very slowly and barely picked up pace after they won the toss.
India's tight and disciplined bowling effort strangled New Zealand, which was 10-1 after seven overs and just 27-1 after 10 overs -- the lowest score by any side in this tournament after the opening powerplay.
The pitch looked increasingly sluggish, preventing the Black Caps from even accelerating in the middle part of the innings after being tied down at 83-2 after 25 overs.
Williamson was forced to come in early once again following the dismissal of the out-of-form Martin Guptill for 1. India's pacemen bowled a good line and length while also getting some movement under cloudy skies.