Zimbabwe coach Dave Houghton has slammed the umpires’ decision to carry on with their T20 World Cup match against the Proteas even in “ridiculous” amounts of rain.
In a weather-hit stop-start match in Hobart, South Africa were on the brink of victory in their revised chase of 64 in seven overs when a final spell of showers forced a washout.
Quinton de Kock (47* off 18 balls) had steered the total to 51-0 in three overs but South Africa and Zimbabwe shared a point each in Group 2 on Monday.
“I don’t think we should have even bowled a ball, to be fair,” said Houghton. “But the umpires are the guys making those decisions out in the middle and they seemed to think it was fit to play. I disagree with them, but there’s not much I can do off the field.”
Zimbabwe won the toss and elected to bat but their innings only began after a rain delay of more than two hours and 30 minutes and the match was reduced to nine overs a side.
Zimbabwe managed 79-5, before De Kock replied with a flurry of fours and a six before rain arrived again, forcing the umpires to cut overs further.
“The rain had got so heavy at one stage, it was ridiculous,” said Houghton. “For most of the evening it was misty with mizzle, but it got to the stage where we could hear it thumping on the roof in the dugout.
“To me that’s no longer mizzle and drizzle – that’s time to get off the field.
“And the field was wet when we started, it was wet when South Africa fielded, so they were difficult conditions for both sides.
“But it just got more and more wet as we bowled. I don’t think the conditions were right to carry on playing.”
Zimbabwe fast bowler Richard Ngarava slipped and had to be taken off injured.
Houghton said: “He’s lying in the changing room with a bunch of ice strapped to his ankle. Obviously, we’re not too happy about the fact he’s not in a great space for bowling at the moment.”
Proteas coach Mark Boucher said Zimbabwe would have wanted to carry on if they had got into a similar position as the Proteas.
“We bowled with a ball that was quite wet as well,” he said. “We were in a very good position. You walk away from this game thinking we were hard done by.”
The washout has left South Africa in a tricky spot in a group which includes heavyweights India and Pakistan. Only two teams from the group make the semi-finals.
© Agence France-Presse