Houghton hits out at umpires for continuing play on wet outfield

Dave Houghton

Zimbabwe coach David Houghton has lashed Twenty20 World Cup officials for allowing their match against South Africa to continue in “ridiculous” rain.

The match in Hobart on Monday night was abandoned with South Africa 13 runs away from their rain-affected Duckworth-Lewis target of 64 from seven overs.

Zimbabwe quick Richard Ngarava, who bowled the second over, limped from the field with an ankle injury after slipping in his follow-through in the wet conditions.

Play had been held up several times throughout the evening, before umpires Ahsan Raza and Michael Gough pulled the pin with South Africa on 51 for no loss after three overs.

The match was declared a no-result, with the teams splitting the points.

Houghton said the rain was so heavy play should have been stopped before Zimbabwe even bowled a ball.

“I understand the need to try to get these games (played) for the public and for everybody else,” he told reporters.

“I understand the need for us to try to play in slightly inclement weather to try to get a result. I thought we overstepped the mark in this game.

“The umpires are making those decisions out in the middle. They seemed to think it was fit to play. I disagree with them, but there’s not much I can do off the field.”

Richard Ngarava was injured after slipping in the slippery conditions in Hobart on Monday

Wicketkeeper Regis Chakabva also came unstuck in the wet, slipping over trying to field a ball down the leg side while standing up to the stumps.

Craig Ervine, Zimbabwe’s captain, resorted to bowling his spinners in a bid to protect his seamers from conditions underfoot.

“The rain had gotten so heavy at one stage, it was ridiculous,” Houghton said.

“For most of the evening it was misty. But it got to the stage where we could hear it thumping on the rooftop in the dugout.

“That’s no longer … drizzle, that’s time to get off the field. There were difficult conditions for both sides but it just got more and more wet as we bowled.”

Dave Houghton was unhappy with the match officials’ decision to continue play in rainy conditions

South Africa coach Mark Boucher said the conditions were tough but teams had to live with the decisions of the officials.

“It seems like both captains wanted to play at the start. I think we bowled with a ball that was quite wet as well,” he said.

“We were in a very good position. If Zimbabwe were in our position, they would have wanted to have carried on playing.”

South Africa opener Quinton de Kock smashed a blistering 47 from 18 balls to almost get his team across the line.

Zimbabwe earlier posted 79 for five from a reduced nine overs after showers pushed back the start of play.

They did well to recover from 19 for four in the fourth over on the back of an unbeaten 18-ball 35 from Wessly Madhevere.

The result leaves South Africa one point behind India and Bangladesh after the opening round with only two countries progressing to the semi-finals.






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