Abandoned
20th Match, Sydney, Mar 3 2020, Group B (N), ICC Women's T20 World Cup
Match abandoned without a ball bowled
8m
• Daniel Brettig

South Africa top Group B after washout; will meet Australia in semi-finals

With Thursday's forecast bleak, another abandonment will see South Africa in the World Cup final

Match centre 
Commentator: Matt Roller

8.58pm: So that's that for the group stages of this competition, with India, England, South Africa and Australia progressing to the semi-finals. Thanks for sticking with us today despite the downpours, and make sure to keep visiting the site for the most comprehensive coverage of this tournament. He's been Alan Gardner, I've been Matt Roller, and you've been the best!

"Really disappointed with the way things went," says stand-in Windies skipper Anisa Mohammed. "Our batting let us down but we'll try to take the positives. The players need to have a bit more confidence in themselves. We have our regional tournament in a couple of weeks. [South Africa] have played really well over the last couple of weeks.

Here's Dane van Niekerk's verdict: "I couldn't have asked for better. Our first goal was to get to the semi-final and we got there with a game to spare. [The washout] doesn't affect us too much... when it's going that well, it's nice to play as much cricket as you can. Generally in these tournaments, we've lost at crucial times, whereas in this tournament, whenever we've been down we've got up again. It's nice that everything is slowly but surely coming together. We've never beaten [Australia] - what better way to do it than in a World Cup semi-final? We're not used to the bigger-stage games, but hopefully everything comes together for us."

8.50pm: Confirmed: Game off. That means South Africa finish top of Group B, with England second, and we have our semi-final line-up:

1st semi-final: India vs England, March 5, 1500 start (local time)

2nd semi-final: South Africa vs Australia, March 5, 1900 start

8.45pm: An inspection is imminent. I think this will be curtains, but hold your horses before leaving us.

Praveen B: "Why can't we have the stadium covered with the roof on top when it rains? We would never miss any of the matches." Because it's unbelievably expensive. It's not quite as simple as just slapping some corrugated iron on the top - you're looking at more than $100m USD for one big enough to cover the playing area at most grounds, I reckon.

8.37pm: M.V.S: "What is the cut off time to abandon the match?" Scroll down and you'll find this: the latest we can get a game started is at 9.27pm, with a 9.12pm toss. That is looking pretty unlikely, to be completely honest with you...

"Brock Lesnar F5?" asks Jack Karandeep. I had no idea what that meant but I'm glad I followed it up. That would liven things up...

8.31pm: Still raining. The inspection has been pushed back to 8.45pm... anyone for an F5?

"So what do you and Gnasher do when it's raining Matt?" muses Owlhelm. "Play chess? Read Shakespearian sonnets to each other? Comfort eat?" Well, since you ask, Gnasher has been busy reflecting on Thailand's debut on the world stage. As for what I've been doing... I can't honestly be sure.

8.18pm: The umpires are out there having a look around under their umbrellas, and it sounds like an inspection isn't far away - at half past, or thereabouts. "If they're sensible, they'll apply the mercy blow," mutters Alan Gardner.

"@shirish, if IND playing final, MCG will bleed blue.." exclaims Atul. Can a stadium bleed? Wouldn't it be more of a crumble?

"Without Aussies in final, will we get full house MCG for final???" wonders shirish. It would be significantly less likely... though an impressive 50,000 tickets have already been sold as of last week, and I'd expect there will be plenty of last-minute sales.

Ram: "In case both semifinals and finals are washed out, who will take the cup home?" If it rains across Australia for the next week then India and South Africa will share the trophy after a washed-out reserve day. But the forecast suggests that it's going to be dry enough for a full 40 overs on Sunday, fingers crossed, so it shouldn't come down to that.

8.12pm: Rakesh Sampat: "So, now we have exactly 1 hour to go for the toss and the rain has to stop, the covers removed, the ground and pitch inspected and new overs framed and a start time assigned to this game and all this has to happen within an hour for us to have a game, right?" Rakesh, do you have to live quite so relentlessly in the real world? But yes, the one-hour countdown until the latest possible toss has officially begun.

"Looks like ICC has made another major blunder in terms of not having reserve days for the SF in a global tournament like the WC," chunters Subramanian R. "This is worse than the rule to award England the WC final." Well... they changed the regulations after that one - maybe chaos in the semis would ensure the same?

8.05pm: Matt: "Given the current forecast for Thursday, and being a passionate Aussie - is there a reserve day for the semis?" Nope, just to clarify the regulations:

- No reserve day for the semi-finals

- Minimum 10 overs per side to constitute a match

- In event of a no-result, the team finishing top of the group will progress to the final

"Will we get drip-by-drip commentary for both innings of the match up to the scheduled close?" wonders Mark. "Surely, now that you have a captive audience hanging on every squall, you will not give up just because the match is abandoned?" There's only one way to find out... and from the ground, the news is: there is no news.

"The radar has looked exactly the same for the last 2 hours," groans Bob Jones. "The rain keeps on starting from the same spot and blowing east. I highly doubt there'll be a game." That's the spirit!

7.42pm: "Ok, it's heavier now," reports Gnasher from the Showground. Eugh.

"So, it's 3.38am here in Toronto, Canada," says a bleary-eyed Bois Wilson. "Should I just roll over and go to sleep and wake up to an unbeaten (but not perfect) S. Africa having won the group, or should I get some coffee and wait (and hope)?" I compel you to stay awake. It could well be futile, but just imagine the prospect of sleeping through a rain-reduced game featuring Lizelle Lee at the top of the order...

7.40pm: Hello everyone. This is tedious, isn't it? That said, neither team has much incentive to get on the pitch - a washout would push West Indies ahead of Pakistan for a third-placed finish in the group, the best result they can hope for, while South Africa only need to avoid defeat to come top.

"This is not a perfect world and, after the bushfires, everyone should share Australia's joy at getting some rain," notes Mark. I sense a 'but' coming... "but would it really be satisfactory if the finalists were to be decided by group positions (although I admit that a bowl-off against unguarded stumps might be even less satisfactory)? Is there at least a reserve day?" All noble sentiments. There's no reserve day for the semis, so if it keeps on raining for the next 72 hours then it'll be South Africa and India in Sunday's final.

7.35pm: Gnasher reports that it is "barely raining" now, but there doesn't seem to be much activity out in the middle. Still about 1hr 40min until the latest the teams can toss up. To keep you hanging on his every keystroke until then, here's Matt Roller...

7.15pm: Looks like the rain might be easing off a touch in Sydney. South Africa's captain, Dane van Niekerk, is out having a look at the outfield, although the covers remain on the main square. The overall picture at the Showground Stadium is pretty bleak, but I'm sure the groundstaff will be hard at work if there's any opportunity of getting a game on.

Here's Mark: "What has happened to the West Indians in this tournament? They must be the most disappointing side in the tournament. Normally you would have expected top spot in the group to be between them and England and yet it seems likely now that they will go home having beaten only Thailand and with the worst record of any of the 'Big 8'." They've actually tailed off dramatically since reaching the semis of the last World T20 on home soil, winning just five out of 19 T20Is - four of them against Ireland or Thailand

"What if a semi final game washed away???" In that event, Harish, it will be the teams that top the groups that progress. So India and...

6.55pm: The latest we can get a game started is at 9.27pm, with a 9.12pm toss. Which at least gives a good couple of hours to dry things out (provided the rain stops). If they do get on, then I guess you might be in the market for some fantasy tips...

"What's the cut off time for this game? Looking at the radar there still could be over an hour before the rain/drizzle stops." Just before 9.30pm, as above, Bob Jones. Looks like being be touch and go

6.35pm: In case it wasn't already apparent, we have a delayed toss and no official word on when things might get going. Gnasher informs me it is still raining at the ground, so that's the main stumbling block. If this game does end up being decided by the weather, that will mean a point apiece for the teams - pushing South Africa above England, and meaning the latter play India in a rematch of the 2018 semi-final.

"Surprised to see relatively quiet World Cup for Dottin," chirps Durgesh Kulkarn. "Could be one of the reasons why WI are not in semi-finals!" Yes, it's certainly been a lean run for Deandra

6.15pm: While we await an update - and the last pictures I saw were of the umpires trudging around with their umbrellas up - let's have a quick whip through what else is going on. Australia may not be your ideal semi-final match-up, but the pre-tournament favourites have suffered a blow to their hopes of retaining the title they won in 2018 after Ellyse Perry was rule out of the rest of the World Cup. We've also got an excellent profile of New Zealand's Amelia Kerr by Annesha Ghosh, and England captain Heather Knight has answered 25 Questions that you've doubtless always wanted to know the answer to.

Meanwhile, here's Bois Wilson with a salient point: "Before we use the word 'dubious', let's not forget the other potential prize: a spot in the final if the rain continues to hold the upper hand through the semis :-)" Yep, that's true, group position is the tiebreaker there. But can it really be that wet in Sydney over the next few days...?

6.05pm: Ahoy. It's the final match of the 2020 Women's T20 World Cup group stage. Most of the qualification matters have been wrapped up, but there is still one important issue at stake: who will top Group B. South Africa have a perfect record, having knocked over England in their opening game, and need only avoid defeat against West Indies to ensure they win the group - although the "prize", a semi-final against hometown powerhouse Australia, is perhaps a dubious one. However, as things stand at Sydney's Showground Stadium, the only current winner is the weather. Thailand's chances of a fairytale finish to their maiden appearance at a global ICC tournament were scotched by the rain, after they had racked up 150 for 3 against Pakistan, and this game is also likely to be affected - the toss is due 25 minutes, but as things stand, that will almost certainly be delayed.

Match details
Sydney Showground Stadium
Tossno toss
SeriesICC Women's T20 World Cup 2020
Match numberWomen's T20I no. 864a
Season2019/20
Hours of play (local time)19.00 start, First Session 19.00-20.30, Interval 20.30-20.50, Second Session 20.50-22.20
Match days3 March 2020 - night match (20-over match)
Umpires
Nitin Menon
Kim Cotton
TV Umpire
Claire Polosak
Reserve Umpire
Chris Brown
Match Referee
GS Lakshmi
PointsSouth Africa Women 1, West Indies Women 1