MANCHESTER    -   The opening Cricket World Cup semi-final between India and New Zealand will be played over two days after rain at Old Trafford prevented the match finishing as scheduled on Tuesday.

New Zealand were 211-5 off 46.1 overs when persistent rain worsened sufficiently for the umpires to halt play at 14:00 with 23 balls left in the innings.

But after more than four hours off the field, the umpires eventually decided there was no prospect of even a 20 overs per side match -- the minimum required under the Duckworth-Lewis method for rain-affected matches -- being completed on Tuesday and they abandoned play for the day at 18:20.

The match, which remains a 50 overs per side contest, will now resume at 10:30, weather permitting, with New Zealand on what will be their overnight score of 211-5, with Ross Taylor 67 not out and Tom Latham unbeaten on three.

If a 20 overs per side match cannot be completed on Wednesday as well, India would go through to Sunday’s final at Lord’s on the basis of having finished first to New Zealand’s fourth in the 10-team group stage. No reserve days were scheduled for the group matches of this World Cup, which has already featured a record four washouts.

Tournament hosts England and reigning champions Australia will contest the second semi-final at Edgbaston on Thursday, with that match able to continue on to Friday if a reserve day is required. New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson won the toss and elected to bat first on a muggy morning at Old Trafford.

Having lost their last three group stage fixtures, New Zealand, up against an India side that have lost just once in this World Cup, were very much going into their fourth consecutive World Cup semi-final as underdogs. India nearly got off to the ideal start through Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who came into the side at the expense of Mohammed Shami. He struck Martin Guptill firmly on the pad as India duly squandered their only review as replays showed the delivery to be sliding down leg side.

New Zealand took 16 balls to get off the mark, with Jasprit Bumrah again proving dangerous. The pressure told on Guptill, whose edge flew to Virat Kohli at first slip.

On a slow surface, runs were hard to come by, but Williamson (67), Henry Nicholls (28) and Ross Taylor (67*) laid a solid platform. Williamson’s wicket, after he reached his fourth fifty-plus score of the tournament, threatened to derail the innings, before New Zealand decided to play their shots.

After the fall of Jimmy Neesham (12) in the 41st over, New Zealand began to accelerate. They struck 49 runs in the following 5.1 overs before the rain – which fell continuously all afternoon – came down.

Play for the day was eventually called off by the umpires with New Zealand 211/5 after 46.1 overs. The game will continue, weather permitting, on Wednesday morning, with Williamson’s men resuming on the same score.  The five wickets taken were shared between each of India’s bowlers on the day.

Scorecard

NEW ZEALAND:

M Guptill c Kohli b Bumrah 1

H Nicholls b Jadeja 28

K Williamson c Jadeja b Chahal 67

R Taylor not out 67

J Neesham c Karthik b Pandya 12

C de Grandhomme c Dhoni b Kumar 16

T Latham not out 3

EXTRAS: (lb 4, w 13) 17

TOTAL: (5 wkts, 46.1 overs) 211

FOW: 1-1, 2-69, 3-134, 4-162, 5-200.

BOWLING: B Kumar 8.1-1-30-1, JJ Bumrah 8-1-25-1, HH Pandya 10-0-55-1, RA Jadeja 10-0-34-1, YS Chahal 10-0-63-1.

INDIA: KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli (c), Rishabh Pant, MS Dhoni, Dinesh Karthik, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Yuzvendra Chahal and Jasprit Bumrah.

Toss: New Zealand

UMPIRES: Richard Kettleborough, Richard Illingworth

TV UMPIRE: Rod Tucker

MATCH REFEREE: David Boon