Updated: Sun, 16 Jun 2013 10:11:06 GMT | By Agence France-Presse

Rain delays England-New Zealand Champions Trophy game

Rain delayed the scheduled 10.30am local time (0930GMT) start of the key Champions Trophy Group A match between England and New Zealand in Cardiff on Sunday.

Rain delays England-New Zealand Champions Trophy game

Rain delays the start of the Champions Trophy cricket match between England and New Zealand in Cardiff on June 16, 2013.

Whichever side wins this match will go through to the semi-finals and if hosts England lose they will exit the tournament.

But if New Zealand lose they will be involved in a three-way battle for a semi-final place with Australia and Sri Lanka, who meet in the last Group A match at The Oval on Monday.

If Sunday's match is a washout, New Zealand will go through to the last four and if Sri Lanka win on Monday they too will qualify for the knockout stages.

A washout in Cardiff means defending champions Australia will both need to beat Sri Lanka and to improve their net run-rate to edge past England.

Bad weather in Cardiff had already played a significant role in this tournament when Friday's Group match between South Africa and the West Indies ended in a tie under the Duckworth/Lewis method for rain-affected matches.

West Indies were ahead on D/L until Kieron Pollard was dismissed off what turned out to be the last ball of the match.

The tie saw South Africa into the semi-finals at West Indies' expense on net run-rate.

Although Sunday's start was delayed, the toss did take place and New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum asked England to bat first.

England were without premier spinner Graeme Swann because of injury and his place was taken by fellow off-break bowler James Tredwell.

However, top order batsman Jonathan Trott was passed fit following a leg injury that prevented him fielding for most of Sri Lanka's innings during England's seven-wicket defeat at The Oval on Thursday.

New Zealand seamer Tim Southee was ruled out with an ankle injury and in his place the Black Caps gave a one-day international debut to 22-year-old left-arm paceman Corey Anderson, who played three Twenty20 internationals in South Africa last year.

Anderson was a late call-up after replacing Grant Elliott in the New Zealand squad for the tournament.

All-rounder Elliott was ruled out of the remainder of the Champions Trophy after exacerbating an injury to his left calf during a training session in Cardiff on Saturday.

The Group A winners will play South Africa in the first semi-final at The Oval on Wednesday, with the runners-up facing India in Cardiff on Thursday.

The Champions Trophy final takes place at Edgbaston on June 23.

There are no reserve days in the tournament. If a semi-final is washed out, the team who topped its group will go through.

If the final is washed out, the trophy will be shared.

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