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New Zealand's Captain Kane Williamson (left) looks on before the ICC men's Twenty20 World Cup 2022 match against Afghanistan at Melbourne Cricket Ground on Wednesday. Image Credit: AFP

Dubai: It’s just the first week of the Twenty20 World Cup, and some contenders have had their best laid plans ruined by rain. Others are worried about how rain will impact their forthcoming games.

It’s a not a good situation since teams have been preparing meticulously for the showpiece. Title contenders like South Africa, New Zealand and England have suffered because of rain. Some others have gained: Australia and Ireland are the biggest beneficiaries.

Despite Ireland’s stunning show, the feeling was England would have won if play had resumed. A target of 52 runs off 33 balls with five wickets in hand is not a stiff task, as they have the batting power. England batters must have played attacking shots keeping the threat of rain in mind. England could have miscalculated the runs required to stay ahead in Duckworth-Lewis calculations. If they had not lost the wicket of Dawid Malan, the 50-over champions could have been ahead of Ireland when rain stopped play.

How Duckworth-Lewis calculation works

Let’s take a look at how the Duckworth-Lewis calculation works. The D/L method works using the notion that teams have two resources to score runs — the number of overs yet to be bowled and the number of wickets in hand. At any stage of the innings, their further run-scoring capability depends on these resources. So in England’s case, the fall of Malan’s wicket may have put them behind Ireland.

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Ground staff cover the field as rains keep the players indoors during the clash between New Zealand and Afghanistan. Image Credit: AFP

The biggest losers are South Africa, who were only 13 runs away from beating Zimbabwe when the match was called off. New Zealand’s game against Afghanistan was abandoned without a ball being bowled at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, and the loss of a point could matter in the final stages of the group games.

Important contest

The Kiwis’ gains from the thumping victory over Australia have now been eroded but they still hold a slight edge over the rest with three points, and a far superior run rate. Thanks to England’s loss to Ireland, Australia have caught up with their arch-rivals and both teams have two points from two matches with Jos Buttler-led side having a better run-rate.

The contest between Australia and England in Melbourne now assumes greater importance as the winners will move ahead. But there is a 90 per cent chance of a rain on Friday. Afghanistan could face a similar situation like today as they are scheduled to play Ireland at the same venue in the first match of the double-header.

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Afghanistan's Mujeeb ur Rahman talks with New Zealand players during the rain delay. Image Credit: AFP

South Africa, in Group 2, could also suffer the same fate they encountered against Zimbabwe as their Thursday’s match against Bangladesh in Sydney is also under rain threat. India, who are to play the Netherlands, could also be kept indoors. Pakistan could get their first points against Zimbabwe as there is only a 5 per cent chance of rain interruption.

With four more weeks to go, there could be many twists and turns as rain clouds continue to swirl over the World Cup.