Rain holds off at MCG for World Cup final

Hovering over even Ben Stokes' match-winning heroics, Melbourne's dreadful spring weather had loomed as the other other key player of the T20 World Cup final.

The forecast had been for more of the persistent rain that had caused so much disruption to MCG matches during the tournament.

Even by Melbourne's dodgy "four seasons in one day" standards, this spring has been particularly bad.

But as Geelong received a deluge to the south-west and another band of weather went through to the east on Sunday night, Melbourne stayed dry in the middle.

It was a World Cup miracle.

The forecast had been grim - as of Saturday, a 100 per cent chance of rain and potentially a thunderstorm.

Organisers joined England and Pakistan in nervously studying the tournament rules, with talk of play being extended into Monday - for which the forecast was also bleak.

There was much precedence for pessimism.

Rain had forced the much-anticipated Australia-England group game to be abandoned without a ball being bowled.

Afghanistan didn't manage to make their cricket debut at the ground because their two games were rained out.

England's match against Ireland was called off early because of the wet weather, sealing a memorable upset win for the Irish.

Across town, Marvel Stadium with its roof stood empty and, but for a drop-in pitch, available.

Late on Sunday afternoon, conditions were overcast and muggy as the MCG was packed with a rowdy, pro-Pakistan crowd.

The Pakistan innings went ahead without disruption - there was only some light drizzle towards the end of their 20 overs.

At 9.50pm, England reached halfway in their innings, meaning there would be a result on Sunday night, regardless of the weather.

As the players went to a drinks break, the MCG lights went out and the fans were treated to a brief sound and light show.

It may as well as have been a moment of celebration from the tournament organisers, who had finally caught a break from Melbourne's fickle weather.