Florida weather watch: USA and Pakistan games get boost after rain-free Thursday

Chances for cricket in Florida received a boost after a dry first half of Thursday, a day before Lauderhill hosts three T20 World Cup Group A matches in three days, two of them pretty crucial for the hosts USA and Pakistan. Not to forget Ireland and Canada, who haven’t yet been knocked out of the tournament. If the first match, between USA and Ireland, is washed out, though, USA will become the second team from Group A to go through to the Super Eight.

After quite a few flights into Miami and Fort Lauderdale were cancelled on Wednesday, teams, production crews and commentators all made it into Fort Lauderdale on Thursday. While there were still delays in flights because of inclement weather en route, Fort Lauderdale itself had remained dry till late afternoon. The drizzle in the evening was expected to die down by night followed by forecast for some showers from 9am to 11am on Friday. Flash flood warnings for the larger area continued to remain in tact.

However, the conditions at the ground were a cause for optimism. Mark Adair, the Ireland allrounder was impressed with what he saw. “I don’t think there was too many people who came to leave the hotel, but no, at the ground today, it was actually remarkably dry,” Adair said. “I think there’s still wet patches over the far side of the ground but you know considering what the place has been through 24 hours before I think the place is looking pretty good.”

The USA opening batter Steven Taylor, who comes from Florida, also said the drainage at the ground is good. “Growing up here at the stadium, it has always had a nice drainage,” Taylor said. “So, we always hope that once the next day doesn’t rain, there’ll always be cricket. But we can’t stop the weather. So, whatever happens, we just have to work with it.”

Saurabh Netravalkar, the USA left-arm fast bowler, said they were preparing as if the match was going on as scheduled. “Actually I haven’t thought about it [the weather] at all,” Netravalkar said hours before leaving from New York on Wednesday evening. “Now we are seeing and hearing that there’s rain, but from our perspective, what is controllable is to expect that we are going to have a full game and we have to try our best to get a victory ’cause even Ireland is a top side. They might have lost two games, but they’re a good team.”

If USA beat Ireland or get one point from the match, they will qualify. After their defeat to USA and India earlier, Pakistan are left hoping no team goes past four points. For Pakistan to have a chance of going ahead, they need Ireland to beat USA and then beat Ireland on the Sunday. If Ireland win both their games against USA and Pakistan, they will give themselves a chance but their net run rate is not looking very healthy. Canada, who beat Ireland earlier, need USA to lose to Ireland for them to have a chance of progressing should they upset India on Saturday.

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