India's hopes of qualifying for the Champions Trophy semi-finals hang by a thread after their game against Australia was abandoned due to heavy rain at Centurion yesterday.
Only 42.3 overs were possible in the Group A game with Ricky Ponting's side amassing 234 for four thanks largely to half centuries from Tim Paine, Michael Hussey and the captain himself. But a violent thunderstorm then struck towards the end of the innings, flooding large parts of the outfield and forcing umpires Billy Bowden and Ian Gould to declare the match a no-result.
It means that both teams were awarded a point each with Australia moving to three in the group, one behind leaders Pakistan, while India (one) and West Indies (none) prop up the table. It leaves India with a tall order to progress to the last four with one game remaining. India will first need to defeat West Indies tomorrow while hoping Australia lose to Pakistan, who have qualified as a result of this result. MS Dhoni's side's hopes, however, are complicated by a vastly inferior run rate with Australia (+1.000) some way ahead of India (-1.080).
An excellent direct hit from Gautam Gambhir in the cover boundary region ended the third-wicket partnership of 88 between Hussey and Ponting, bringing Ponting's 88-ball knock to a conclusion after he attempted a second run and was run-out at the non-striker's end.