Zimbabwe head coach Dave Houghton has come out hard at match officials for allowing their T20 World Cup fixture against South Africa on Monday, October 24, to continue despite heavy rain in Hobart. The former batter stated that the conditions were difficult for both sides, especially for Zimbabwe's bowlers.
The match at the Bellerive Oval had a delayed start due to persistent rain. When the game started, Zimbabwe batted first in a nine-over contest and scored 79.
In reply, Proteas opener Quinton de Kock came out all guns blazing and slammed 23 runs in the first over. While the covers came on after the first six balls, the umpires ordered the game to resume despite heavy rains, with two more overs reduced.
Eventually, the game had to be called off, with the Proteas at 51-0 in three overs, chasing 64 in seven overs. Both teams settled for one point each.
Speaking after the game, Houghton said it was ridiculous of the umpires to assume the conditions being fit to play. The 65-year-old was quoted as saying by Perth Now:
"I understand the need to try to get these games played for the public and for everybody else. 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."
Zimbabwe, who batted first after winning the toss, started poorly as none of their top-four batters reached double figures. Wessly Madhevere and Milton Shumba added an unbeaten 55 to give their side a respectable total.
"For most of the evening it was misty" - Dave Houghton
Houghton stated that he heard rain droplets on the rooftop of the dugout, saying:
"The rain had gotten so heavy at one stage, it was ridiculous. 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."
It's worth noting that Bangladesh and the Netherlands had also played at the same venue earlier in the day. Zimbabwe will next face Pakistan on Thursday, October 27, in Perth, while South Africa will lock horns with Bangladesh on the same day in Sydney.