The rain clouds once again loom large over the World Cup as India prepare to take on New Zealand in the first semi-final of this year's showpiece edition, at Old Trafford, Manchester on 9 July. Earlier, the group stage match between the two at Trent Bridge was abandoned due to rain, making it the fourth contest to be abandoned in this year's World Cup.
According to the British Met department, the skies are likely to remain rather cloudy throughout Tuesday. There will be the risk of the odd light shower again. A light drizzle is expected to batter Old Trafford all day. with the possibility of light showers during the evening. Maximum and minimum temperatures are forecast to be at 19-degree-Celsius and 14-degree-Celsius respectively.
Despite having a reserve day in place if the contest is washed out today, the prospect of a complete game is weak as showers are predicted for 10 July as well. According to the ICC, if the game is washed out on the reserve day as well then the team that was higher on the points table in the group stage will automatically qualify for the finals. India, sitting on top of the tournament table, thus have higher chances to qualify directly to the finals if both the days are washed out.
The Men in Blue had a good run in the group stage of the tournament as they finished at the top of the table with just one loss from nine matches. With Rohit Sharma and Jasprit Bumrah in sublime form for the side since the last four games, India have marched ahead of the rest of the teams and secured a berth at the semi-finals. Rohit Sharma became the proud holder of the record of scoring the most number of centuries by a player in a World Cup edition with his fourth consecutive century against Sri Lanka, in addition to becoming the leading run-scorer (647) in this year's contest.
The Kiwis, on the other hand, qualified for the semi-finals after England put an end to Pakistan's qualifying dreams as they beat New Zealand in their final group stage match, allowing the Black Caps to proceed to the semi-finals as they had a higher net run-rate than that of Pakistan.
World Cup Semi Final Update: After 4 pm local time (8:30 pm IST) overs will start getting reduced. New Zeland wont bat again after 4:15 pm (8:45 pm IST)