Rain plays spoilsport at Buffalo Park
Consistently heavy rain forced the cancellation of the second one-day international between South Africa and Zimbabwe at East London. After meetings between both boards, the teams and SuperSport, the host broadcaster, it was decided that the game would be replayed as a day/night match tomorrow.
The covers had been in place for most of the morning and the forecast of further showers under gloomy and windy conditions was spot on.
Heavy rain during the week had left the outfield quite waterlogged. With the super-sopper not working at its best, the groundstaff found it difficult to make the field safe enough for the players.
Both South Africa and Zimbabwe fielded unchanged sides from the series opener at Bloemfontein. There, Boeta Dippenaar's unbeaten 85 helped South Africa home by five wickets with 43 balls to spare, but had been looking for a more polished effort with bat and ball in this match. Though they restricted Zimbabwe to 201, South Africa managed just three wickets inside 33 overs and the killer instinct that Jacques Kallis had spoken about prior to the series was missing.
This series is the last competition for either side ahead of next month's Champions Trophy in India and both captains would be keen to get matters underway tomorrow.
Gerald Majola, Cricket South Africa chief executive, announced that the start of the match was being delayed to 1430 hours tomorrow.
"Between us and Zimbabwe Cricket we agreed that because the objective of this tour in the first place is to accord our players competitive preparation for the forthcoming Champions Trophy, we should ensure that we play all the three ODIs as scheduled. Furthermore, on our part as CSA, we needed the arrangement because we owe the people of East London as they have been crying for an international match for some time," said Majola.
Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) also welcomed the agreement. "We always want to get the maximum benefits from our tours and this one is moreso because we are facing the strength of the second best ODI side in the world. We have a young talented squad and we are committed that they get as much exposure as possible to give them the experience necessary to stand their own against international competition.
"The players need the matches so that they get consistency because that is what is missing now. Such tours as this one are vital as the boys are playing on different conditions and at different venues, away from home. It is also a big plus that they have played under floodlights twice now and, nature providing, will do so again tomorrow. All this contributes to their being well-rounded professionals."
1 Loots Bosman, 2 Boeta Dippenaar, 3 Herschelle Gibbs, 4 Jacques Kallis (capt), 5 Jean-Paul Duminy, 6 Mark Boucher (wk), 7 Shaun Pollock, 8 Robin Peterson, 9 Charl Langeveldt 10 Andre Nel, 11 Mkhaya Ntini
1 Terrence Duffin, 2 Vusi Sibanda, 3 Chamu Chibhabha, 4 Hamilton Masakadza, 5 Brendan Taylor (wk), 6 Stuart Matsikenyeri, 7 Elton Chigumbura, 8 Prosper Utseya (capt), 9 Twanda Mupariwa, 10 Ed Rainsford, 11 Anthony Ireland.