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The Report by Alex Winter at The Oval
June 27, 2013
England 2 for 1 v New Zealand match abandoned
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
Kevin Pietersen's England comeback was put on hold as rain caused the second T20 against New Zealand at The Oval to be abandoned after just two balls. As Pietersen prepared to return, it was announced that the man he replaced in the side, Eoin Morgan, will have surgery on a finger injury that will keep him out for several weeks.
Light drizzle kept the covers on for two hours before a break in the weather raised hopes of a six-overs-a-side match. But with the ground ready and the players filing out of the pavilion, heavier clouds moved in and a stiff shower before the 9.11pm cut-off scuppered any hopes of play.
With England being asked to bat, Pietersen should have been straight back to work in his first international appearance since the Wellington Test, after which he limped out of England's tour of New Zealand with a knee injury. It would have been his first T20 for England since February 2012.
Pietersen is now left with potentially two innings before the first Investec Ashes Test on July 10. England's Ashes warm-up match against Essex starts on Sunday.
England had been sent in after James Tredwell lost the toss. Tredwell was standing in for Morgan, who had been ruled out of the match with a right finger injury earlier in the day and is due to undergo surgery on Friday.
Morgan broke his finger in the Champions Trophy semi-final victory over South Africa at The Oval on June 19 but played through the pain in the final against India three days later.
He was deemed fit enough to captain England in the first T20 against New Zealand, also at The Oval, on Tuesday but aggravated the injury during the five-run defeat. Surgery was decided as the best-possible remedy.
"It's looking like an operation to try and get it pinned and ready as soon as possible," Morgan said. "It can be as short as two to three [weeks out] and then ongoing from there. Obviously it will be closely monitored by our backroom staff, who have been exceptional, and hopefully I'll get back to full fitness as soon as possible."
Morgan's next engagement for England is unlikely to come before the one-day series against Australia, which begins on August 29. But he could potentially miss the entire Friends Life t20 campaign for Middlesex.
Craig Kieswetter, who was dropped as England's one-day wicketkeeper before the tour of India at the start of the year, suffered a similar injury playing for Somerset against Warwickshire at the end of April and did not return for 11 weeks.
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The new stand-in captain has the makings of a long-term leader, given his ability to stay ahead of the game
Turning your back on a system that the whole cricketing world wants a discussion on, refusing to discuss it because it is not 100%, is not good enough
After a long time we have seen an Indian team and captain enjoy the challenge of trying to overcome stronger opposition in an overseas Test