Thunderstorms, flooding predicted for Black Caps-Australia clash

Australian cricket team practices ahead of its match against New Zealand in Dharamsala. Photo / AP
Australian cricket team practices ahead of its match against New Zealand in Dharamsala. Photo / AP

New Zealand v Australia: watch for thunderstorms.

That's the disappointing weather forecast for Friday night's World T20 trans-Tasman showdown in Dharamsala. The match appears very unlikely to go ahead.

New Zealand will be itching to build on their surprise victory over hosts India, while Australia will be playing their opening match.

But unless the weather predictions are way off the mark the day/night clash seems doomed.

The day forecast reads "cloudy, cooler and becoming rainy; watch for flooding" and the night one isn't much better - "cloudy with showers; additional rain can lead to flooding problems".

ESPN's CricInfo has a 'thunderstorms' sign next the game, along with predictions of temperatures ranging from 4 - 11C.

Dharamsala is on the edge of the Himalayas and its colourful cricket ground has been described as the most beautiful in the world. The T20 tournament has focussed attention on photos the HPCA Stadium, which has received rave reviews such as "stunning, breathtaking, awesome" from fans on social media.

India and Pakistan were originally scheduled to play there on Saturday. But the match was moved to Kolkata after Pakistan raised security concerns about the venue, which is near the disputed region of Kashmir.

The weather can be rough in this monsoon-influenced region although winter, which ends this month, normally has little rainfall.

New Zealand spinner Ish Sodhi, who was born in the state of Punjab, said he was surprised to see so much green grass and some snow.

"I've never been this far north before," he said.

"The one ground I've played at near snow was Queenstown - this is the middle of nowhere surrounded by all these mountains and snow. It is really nice to play at."

Sodhi said the New Zealand players' first job was to get some rest after a late return to their Nagpur hotel and early departure for Dharamsala following the victory over India.

"We didn't get much sleep, there were a few tired boys," he said.

- NZ Herald

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