England v South Africa, 1st NatWest ODI, Cardiff

England stay top as rain ruins opening ODI

The Report by George Dobell

August 24, 2012

Comments: 62 | Text size: A | A

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, 15:29 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, 15:26 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, 13:05 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, 10:19 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, 20:40 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, 20:30 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, 11:25 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, 10:15 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, 9:53 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, 9:31 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

Posted by   on (August 26, 2012, 4:20 GMT)

@JG2704:I would never do that. If you read my latest comment you would realize. Not every cricket fan looks for some opportunity to win the arguments. If my point is valid, I would put forward. If its proven wrong, I will accept :)

Posted by   on (August 26, 2012, 4:17 GMT)

@jonesytoo: First of all, I agree that I, infact missed writing that part in my original post. I just found that I missed mentioning *the timeframe*. And given that, it was a mistake from my side, your first argument stands perfectly valid. I would just ask you read my initial post again with the timeframe given. Cause, honestly that's what I had in my mind. If you read my reply, you would realize, that I had the timeframe in mind just that I forgot to mention it.

Also, I agree, that since there is no dominant side, these arguments would keep coming. But you know what, I have seen so many times from English fans, that they celebrate when they win at home but don't give credit when other countries win at their own home. Anyways, i will argue on that point when it comes to discussion during some match :)

Posted by JG2704 on (August 25, 2012, 22:29 GMT)

@jonesytoo on (August 25 2012, 20:35 PM GMT) He moved the goalposts after he realised his orignal argument was flawed

Posted by jonesytoo on (August 25, 2012, 21:35 GMT)

Prafulla Surve, I understood your question perfectly. It was, and I quote: "How have England played in ODIs outside England?". No mention of any timeframe anywhere in your original message. If you want to now move the goalposts and bring in the 'last two years' criterion then, yes, I cannot argue that England have lost two away series and won one in that time. Don't worry, I'm sure England will lose the #1 ranking soon enough and we can all move onto the team who takes over the top spot and start saying "what about that series they lost 3-0 and that other one they lost 5-1, they don't deserve to be number one". That's what happens when there's no dominant team. I mainly took objection to you describing England as a low quality team, which is patently false.

Posted by JG2704 on (August 25, 2012, 18:53 GMT)

@Deepakrio on (August 25 2012, 13:43 PM GMT) How do you work out we were lucky to win that T20 world cup? We lost one match and that was on a revised total (rain affected game) where WI were set a lower total with full wickets in hand. And our form since has been good. We lost a one match series vs SL and have won or drawn everything else.

Posted by   on (August 25, 2012, 17:22 GMT)

John Caulfield:Again, it seems that you started typing without reading my point... I was saying that they hardly played outside England in last 2 years. And in that period they have lost badly outside England. 1] I was asking Since the start of 2011 not after the world cup. You statguru for that period and you get Engand played 41, Won 21, Lost 16 :) Definitely not good to be number one! So not play with the stat, add that world cup to 1-6 loss to australia to equation no matter how bitterly you want to forget it.

2] But again, as per your stat, this success is totally depended on home wins. They have beaten Sri Lanka, India, Australia at home and Pakistan Away. Agree. But they have lost to India 0-5 in India. Lost to Australia 1-6 in Australia. And have not played ODIs in SL but last ODI they played in SL, they lost it by 10 wickets. How good they are outside england?

3]South Africa got no further in World cup but they topped their group and at least deserved to reach QF.

Posted by   on (August 25, 2012, 17:11 GMT)

@jonesytoo: To answer my question, you have to first understand it clearly :) What you wrote is totally irrelevant to what I asked :) I asked about England's away performance in last 2 years and not in their all *last* away tours. If only, you could understand that difference! Just to give how considering all *last away tours*, would flaw the argument, I would give this stat: India have beaten WI,NZ, SA, PAK, SL, ZIM (:D in 2006 .. lol), when they *last toured* countries. Also they whitewashed :) England (5-0 no tie or rain washout), they have also won the world cup (something that england has never done in their life:), I hope you got my point. It's about they have not performed good outside England. And isn't that the criteria you apply to other countries ?

Posted by rickyvoncanterbury on (August 25, 2012, 14:59 GMT)

the heavens may have have saved them this time, but even god cannot save the poms.

Posted by Deepakrio278 on (August 25, 2012, 14:43 GMT)

Eng do not deserve no.1 in any format..They just won that t20 cup by luck and time goin their way..If u say a team is no.1 they shud be gud and play equally well in all conditions..This surely says a lot abt Eng shud not be 1..

Posted by JG2704 on (August 25, 2012, 12:39 GMT)

@dicky_boy on (August 25 2012, 10:30 AM GMT) Is rain an Indian term for rubbish opponents? Please learn to accept defeat with dignity.

Posted by JG2704 on (August 25, 2012, 12:39 GMT)

@Chris Sun on (August 25 2012, 00:35 AM GMT) So there wouldn't be any bias from Mr Ponting would there?

Posted by dicky_boy on (August 25, 2012, 11:30 GMT)

Randyoz spot on mate, I can understand Australia being no one, but England come on They only depend on rain to win, if u see their series against India you will see what I mean, And any team that did not qualify even for a world cup semifinals for past 20 years surely deserves to be at the bottom, bottom lineWORLD CUP IS EVERYTHING, people who did not or can never win it say otherwise

Posted by   on (August 25, 2012, 11:26 GMT)

Prafulla Surve, since the World Cup, England have played 24 completed ODIs, with a record of W17, L6, T1, hardly low quality is it? Whether they deserve to be No.1 right now is up for debate, but you can't argue with 10 wins out of 10, no matter where there are played. As for harping back to the World Cup, yes we lost to Bangladesh and Ireland, but we also beat South Africa and West Indies, and tied with India. Don't forget too that South Africa got no further in the tournament than England. I don't mind people having an opinion on the England team, it's the blatant bias, untruths and unwillingness to give England any credit whatsoever (yes you RandyOz) that annoys me.

Posted by jonesytoo on (August 25, 2012, 10:41 GMT)

@Prafulla Surve, to answer your question: England have beaten South Africa, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, West Indies and Pakistan the last time they played an away ODI series against those countries but don't let that get in the way of your flawed argument. I wouldn't worry, it seems de rigueur to have little or no cricket knowledge to post in these comments sections. @RandyOz, come on mate, you're not even trying these days.

Posted by   on (August 25, 2012, 8:02 GMT)

How have England played in ODIs outside England? Barring one series against Pakistan, they hardly have played outside. In India they were humiliated 0-5, in Australia they were beaten 1-6, In world cup, they lost to Bangladesh and Ireland! It's a shame that such a low quality team is now at the top of the ranking.But they won't stay there for long and I really believe, with their current quality they will be beaten anywhere outside England by any test playing nation.

Posted by sweetspot on (August 25, 2012, 6:09 GMT)

No Bairstow!?? Come on England! Surely the young man does not need the rest! What are all the plodders doing in the squad, while the big guns are resting?!

Posted by jezzastyles on (August 25, 2012, 5:52 GMT)

A huge pity that the rain spoiled the brilliant opening onslaught from Bell, could have developed into one of the better ODI knocks, but unfortunately we'll never know. SA upset you in the tests, don't let it happen in the ODI's. Keep up the good form in ODI's. Best of luck to both teams. @RandyOZ: Looks like the rain did SA the favours in this game?

Posted by phoenixsteve on (August 25, 2012, 5:23 GMT)

Another totally meaningless title that England probably don't deserve? Let's hope and pray that this one doesn't cause them to 'freeze' like the test title did! The test performance was shambolic and England were pathetic against South Africa. The coming months will prove whether England are show ponys or champions... they're a good side but let's hope the titles don't inhibit the cricket? COME ON ENGLAND!!!

Posted by Tahir_Anjum on (August 25, 2012, 4:21 GMT)

@ RandyOz you seemed to be very jealous of England hahaha, whenever I read your comments it is always against England. Don't be jealous of anyone just enjoy..

Posted by RandyOZ on (August 25, 2012, 3:05 GMT)

How great is it to see Hammond and FrontFoot Lunge go deathly silent again?

Posted by RandyOZ on (August 25, 2012, 3:01 GMT)

This is typical of England, relying on rain to keep their rankings. I think they chose the land of England to improve their cricket results~

Posted by   on (August 25, 2012, 1:35 GMT)

I still don't think this South African side is the best. Since when have they strung together consistent performances against Australia? They won in 2008/09 in Aus only to lose the return series and Ricky Ponting said SA didn't deserve to win. SA dare to dream and win in Aus.

Posted by Chris_P on (August 24, 2012, 22:37 GMT)

@xylo. Perhaps if the rankings were only determined by the WC you would be correct. But, as you obviously don't know, the rankings are determined by a series of results over a number of years, and now you can guess who deserves the current #1 spot based on those results. Not too hard to work out, is it?

Posted by Chris_P on (August 24, 2012, 22:37 GMT)

@xylo. Perhaps if the rankings were only determined by the WC you would be correct. But, as you obviously don't know, the rankings are determined by a series of results over a number of years, and now you can guess who deserves the current #1 spot based on those results. Not too hard to work out, is it?

Posted by santhoo24 on (August 24, 2012, 22:12 GMT)

@ Imsrk, mate, who is "carrying" Swann? Or are you referring to Swann's cricket "career", which is decided by the ECB?

Posted by JG2704 on (August 24, 2012, 20:47 GMT)

@ shovwar on (August 24 2012, 19:06 PM GMT) Not a typical English fan at all. No one else has posted similar comms. That is apart from Jose on (August 24 2012, 17:21 PM GMT) Who says the opposite so should I get a little hissy fit out and say typical SA fan?

Posted by JG2704 on (August 24, 2012, 20:47 GMT)

@ xylo on (August 24 2012, 16:25 PM GMT) England did make it to the last 8 of the world cup and lost to losing finalists Sri Lanka although admittedly it was a decisive loss . You could just say we don't deserve the number 1 spot without actually exaggerating how far we didn't get in the last world cup

Posted by warneneverchuck on (August 24, 2012, 20:36 GMT)

Swan's carrier will be over after India tour

Posted by CricFan78 on (August 24, 2012, 20:28 GMT)

When will we stop playing wet ball cricket in England? Almost all ODIs are played in wet conditions and shortened overs.

Posted by shovwar on (August 24, 2012, 20:06 GMT)

"Rain denied England yet another Victory"????? Typical English fan. The same was said before the Test. And what happened? Slaps in the face by SA. If someone can predict a One Day game with just 5 or 6 overs he surely dont know ODI cricket and should watch and learn more of it to understand. ODI cricket can be decisive in the last ball. Well its the same trend over again. English fans talking SA delivering.

Posted by Shafaet_001 on (August 24, 2012, 19:40 GMT)

@Front-Foot-Lunge: haha,only 5-6 overs bowled,and you already predicting the result!!

Posted by Jose on (August 24, 2012, 18:21 GMT)

Typical Welsh weather saved England ...

Posted by Vasilev on (August 24, 2012, 18:14 GMT)

I thought its the intermittant rain that saved England in the second test which had otherwise been a 0-3 drubbling.

Posted by   on (August 24, 2012, 18:14 GMT)

Uncharacteristic grammatical error there, George. You don't usurp a person, team, etc. You usurp a position, power, office, etc. As in "usurped the throne". Nevertheless, English fans would do well to not beat themselves up so much over SA taking over No 1 position. They were outplayed by a better team, and honestly, out-coached by a better coach.

Posted by lcg_123 on (August 24, 2012, 18:02 GMT)

@xylo who said "When a side that did not make it to the last 8 of the world cup is No.1, isn't something glaringly wrong with the system?": Perhaps the England being number 1, and also South Africa's number 2 standing are partly a reflection of how badly the winners of the previous world cups are doing right now.

Posted by spot_on on (August 24, 2012, 17:59 GMT)

So, the rain helped again!!!! huh

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (August 24, 2012, 17:42 GMT)

Nice to see Bell hammering those sixes off Morkel. Rain denies England yet another victory.

Posted by Yevghenny on (August 24, 2012, 17:28 GMT)

Why have so many ODI's if you're just going to end up resting half the big players? Stupid.

Posted by xylo on (August 24, 2012, 17:25 GMT)

When a side that did not make it to the last 8 of the world cup is No.1, isn't something glaringly wrong with the system?

Posted by noplay on (August 24, 2012, 17:15 GMT)

@ Steve Turner you forgot to mention the best XI who didn't tread on the bosses' toes

Posted by Kulaputra on (August 24, 2012, 16:12 GMT)

ridiculous to leave out Steyn. is there someone who does not enjoy seeing him? English selectors must be out of their mind. Why is Jonny Bairstow not playing ? You leave out Pietersen to spite him and now the replacement has no place as well. I would pick him over Bell and Bopara any day.

Posted by sawifan on (August 24, 2012, 15:38 GMT)

@STeve Turner... with ODI's i agree.. its never the best team from each country vs the best of the other anymore unless its a World Cup or similar... disappointing really, but understanding to in this day and age, where teams want to find the right combinations for those big MONEY-MAKING tournaments...

Posted by   on (August 24, 2012, 15:10 GMT)

Bell and Trott the trail blazers....they can set thames on fire.....

Posted by   on (August 24, 2012, 14:47 GMT)

Not playing Prior is ridiculous. He's twice the batsman Keisweiter is.

Posted by   on (August 24, 2012, 14:03 GMT)

Who would want to leave South Africa to go play cricket for England. It rains most of the time. Here in Cape Town it rains in winter and the sun is always out in summer. No thanks. Even today its nice and hot. Not a cloud in the sky.

Posted by   on (August 24, 2012, 13:51 GMT)

Steyn being rested as he has a sore neck .

Posted by   on (August 24, 2012, 12:55 GMT)

It's a pity that International cricket is no longer our best XI against yours, just something like the best XIs on the day.

Posted by tommytucker on (August 24, 2012, 12:36 GMT)

steyn is being rested, fear not the best ranked bowler in the World for ODIs is replacing him - Tsotsobe.

Posted by   on (August 24, 2012, 12:03 GMT)

Steyn and Kallis(whole series) are being rested.South Africa trying new options

Posted by hersheybar on (August 24, 2012, 11:58 GMT)

@vak1997 Steyn is probably being rested and so is Kallis. The latter will be back for the T20 WC. I actually back resting king Kallis, this will only prolong his test career. :)

Posted by vak1997 on (August 24, 2012, 11:03 GMT)

why is Steyn left out?? he's currently the No.1 bowler in the world and also is in good form... what about kallis? is he injured?

Posted by jmcilhinney on (August 24, 2012, 10:15 GMT)

Excited to see Woakes, disappointed not to see Bairstow.

Comments have now been closed for this article

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