England v South Africa, 1st NatWest ODI, Cardiff

England stay top as rain ruins opening ODI

The Report by George Dobell

August 24, 2012

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England 37 for 0 v South Africa - Match abandoned
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Ian Bell hit two sixes in his brief innings, England v South Africa, 1st NatWest ODI, Cardiff, August 24, 2012
Ian Bell hit Morne Morkel for six over midwicket in a brief display of hitting © Getty Images
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Only 33 deliveries were possible before rain forced an abandonment of the first ODI between England and South Africa in Cardiff. The result means that England, who were presented with what looked remarkably like a hub-cap but was actually the ICC's ODI Shield before play, retain the newly acquired No. 1 ranking in this format for a little while yet.

Had South Africa won, they would have usurped England as the No. 1-ranked ODI side just as they usurped them as No. 1-ranked Test team with victory at Lord's just five days ago.

The weather flirted with spectators for much of the day and, as the covers were taken on and off with each passing shower, there was little to entertain the crowd other than 50 shades of grey sky. When play eventually began, the game was reduced to 24 overs a side, with another over deducted after a further interruption after just one delivery.

England, who selected Chris Woakes for his first home ODI in place of the rested Stuart Broad, and retained faith in Ravi Bopara, despite his recent absence from the game for personal reasons ahead of the in-form Jonny Bairstow, were inserted when South Africa captain AB de Villiers won the toss at 9.45am. South Africa recalled left-arm fast bowler Wayne Parnell in place of the rested Dale Steyn.

The first passage of play last only one delivery - a leg side wide - before rain forced the players from the pitch and, on the resumption, batting proved hard work. Alastair Cook might have been run-out before he scored had Parnell, at mid-off, hit the stumps with his direct hit and, after three power-play overs, England had scored only four runs.

The next two overs cost 28, however, as Ian Bell, in particular, launched an attack that hinted he may yet have something to offer as a Twenty20 player. Cook signalled the acceleration by cover driving Lonwabo Tsotsobe for four before, later in the same over, Bell skipped down the pitch and lofted another four over mid-off.

It was a tactic Bell was to employ even more impressively in the next over. Skipping down the pitch to Morne Morkel, Bell was able to turn perfectly reasonable back of the length deliveries into length deliveries and, having heaved one six over midwicket, drove another over long-off.

But then, with 33 runs having come from 15 deliveries, the rain returned and, with time running out to fit in the minimum 20-overs a side to constitute a game, the umpires too the inevitable decision to abandon the game. Spectators will receive a full refund minus a handling fee.

The second match in the five match series will take place in Southampton on Tuesday.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by JG2704 on (August 27, 2012, 14:29 GMT)

@Winsome on (August 27 2012, 09:19 AM GMT) They had the CB40 last round of matches scheduled today so maybe that had something to do with it. I suppose they could have reversed the order

Posted by JG2704 on (August 27, 2012, 14:26 GMT)

@blueLogic - You have basically just given a load of stats which back up my post which says India's form has been patchy.You say that India beat Asia cup winners Pakistan but they did not qualify for the final did they? Who was it that beat them - Bangladesh? Now I have respect for Bangladesh and think they are a better OD/T20 side than people make out but your fans were slaughtering us for losing to them in the WC. And if we're going along that road we drew with champs India in the WC so does that mean we had a good world cup?So patchy is exactly what India have been. I've not said they are poor have I? Re a team being whitewashed staying number 1,I don't see why it can't be so.Re India losing by whitewash - they'd not built up enough ranking points lead to afford to do that and stay number 1 so it all depends how far ahead a team are. Also no need for the LOL re the mighty England. I don't give it the LOL on India's away form in tests so why bother? please publish

Posted by MattyP1979 on (August 27, 2012, 12:05 GMT)

I people want to say the rankings are a bit wrong I would probably have to agree. But there is very little between a few of the sides and this makes for better viewing. Eng need to win a WC in 50 overs otherwise being top of this rankings seems very empty. I actually expect teams such as Pak/WI to climb alot higher very soon. Pak very soon as the face the frankly poor Aussies next up.

Posted by Winsome on (August 27, 2012, 9:19 GMT)

I don't understand why England aren't playing on a Mon public holiday. What's the deal, surely it would have been the perfect day for i? Weird scheduling.

Posted by JG2704 on (August 26, 2012, 19:40 GMT)

@Meety on (August 26 2012, 10:25 AM GMT) Got to be honest , I'd probably feel the same in your position. It's also strange that England have suddenly dropped to 2 in the T20s when a few weeks ago they were number 1 by quite a few points and SA who replaced them at 1 haven't played in that time? Got to be honest , I thought I got how it all worked. Now I'm not so sure

Posted by JG2704 on (August 26, 2012, 19:30 GMT)

@Prafulla Surve on (August 26 2012, 08:53 AM GMT) - No worries there. Well done the Under 19s too

Posted by Meety on (August 26, 2012, 10:25 GMT)

@JG2704 - I had no problems with Eng getting #1 in Tests & T20s - they had fairly long form surges in those formats. The rankings for ODIs really irk me at the moment as England's win/loss ratio during the ratings PERIOD, is behind SA, Ind, Pak & Oz. That being said, England are currently unbeaten over their last 13 matches (3 no results), which whilst VERY good, IMO does not reverse previous mediocrity. There is something clarly wrong IMO.

Posted by LetThereBeLogic on (August 26, 2012, 9:15 GMT)

@JG2704:India's form is patchy? okay so what have they lost since the word cup? They have lost 0-3 to England(they tied 1 and 1 got rain-washed). They could not reach the finals in CB series (But you have to agree there was nothing to choose between the 3 sides in that tournament). They did not reach finals of Asia cup but they did beat Pakistan (who won it) and SL.

Now on the other hand what and how much have they won? They beat WI in WI 3-2 and they beat WI in India 4-1. Before that they beat mighty (lol) England in India 5-0 (total whitewash). They beat SL in SL 4-1.

And if you say the side that gets whitewashed is still good to be number 1, I am sure you did not have that opinion when India was on the wrong end last year.

Posted by   on (August 26, 2012, 8:53 GMT)

@JG2704. I accepted my mistake and wrote the same to jonesytoo. But then I objected your point "He moved the goalposts after he realised his orignal argument was flawed".

I din't move the goalpost after realizing that my argument is flawed. Its just that I realized I forgot to put the goalpost in the first place and I had assumed that I had put them cause that's what I had intended :)

Anyways, lets stop this matter and we can talk about this when they play 2nd ODI. For a while I am enjoying India's Under-19 world cup triumph which they achieved in Australia :)

Posted by JG2704 on (August 26, 2012, 8:31 GMT)

@Prafulla Surve on (August 26 2012, 03:20 AM GMT) But then it's entirely your mistake and not that of Jonesytoo who was responding to your first post. So in that aspect you were very wrong to say about him reading your post clearly because you failed to put a timescale in. Whether deliberate or not the goalposts were moved. As an England fan I'm not sure I believe we should be 1 in ODIs but then I also think we should still be 1 in T20s. Anyway re ODIs , I don't really see there being a team which is head and shoulders above the rest. India won the WC but their form this year has been at best patchy , Australia had a huge run of success but just lost the last series in Eng 4-0 and while I don't buy this theory many were saying when Eng lost 3-0 to Pak that you can't have a number 1 side who gets whitewashed. So basically no one has been hugely consistent in ODIs either

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