England v Australia, 3rd NatWest ODI, Edgbaston September 11, 2013

Rain ruins second match of series

England 59 for 3 v Australia match abandoned
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

The rain, which is threatening to turn this series into a non-event, prevented Australia from taking advantage of a strong start at Edgbaston after they had removed England's top order.

Rain delayed the start by 20 minutes and then returned after one ball of the 16th over to force the sides off the field. Although the umpires finally called the game off shortly after 7pm it had long been clear that there was little chance of a result as Edgbaston suffered from the weather again. Spectators will receive a 50% refund on the value of their tickets - it is only 100% if fewer than 10 overs have been bowled - and Warwickshire had an insurance policy to cover lost retail sales.

Australia certainly fared better of the two sides in the first hour or so of play. Mitchell Johnson, again bowling at a pace in excess of 90 mph, was arguably the most eye-catching of the bowlers but gained good support from his colleagues.

While Kevin Pietersen flicked his first delivery, the fourth of the game, through midwicket for four, he was involved in a run-out two balls later for which he would have to accept much of the blame.

Struck on the thigh pad, Pietersen called Michael Carberry for a sharp single. Carberry had backed up some distance but, despite bellowing "no," then had to watch in horror as Pietersen ran past him to the safety of the non-striker's end while the bowler, Clint McKay, completed the run out. It appeared both batsmen accepted that sacrificing Carberry was the lesser of two evils, though for a man playing in just his third ODI and with limited opportunities to shine, it may prove to be a significant blow.

The incident appeared to unsettle Pietersen. He played and missed at both McKay and Johnson and then pulled a sharp short ball from Johnson to square leg.

After Pietersen's early boundary, England failed to hit another until the 10th over. While Jonathan Trott produced a couple of characteristic flicks off the hip, England reached an underwhelming 43 for 2 by the end of the Powerplay.

Joe Root produced one sweet on-driven four off Josh Hazlewood, who replaced Fawad Ahmed for Australia, in the next over but, no sooner had Adam Voges been introduced into the attack, than Root pushed one that may have gripped in the pitch back to the bowler.

It could have been worse for England. Trott, falling to the off side as he tried to play a straight one off his legs, was given out lbw when he had scored 13 by umpire Michael Gough. Trott, in hope more than conviction, eventually called for a review of the decision which showed the delivery from Johnson had pitched fractionally outside the leg stump.

It was not Trott's only nervous moment. Australia utilised their only review on another leg-before appeal, with ball-tracking technology suggesting the delivery from Johnson would have narrowly passed over the stumps - the review upheld Gough's not-out decision on the basis of umpire's call. Two balls later, Trott sustained a crunching blow as a short ball from Johnson crashed into the grill of his helmet.

"It's definitely a plan to target Trott with the bouncer," Matthew Wade said. "It doesn't take a brain surgeon to work that out. Any batsman getting bouncers at the pace Mitch is bowling them is going to find it quite difficult and we'll target that and try and mix his feet up and get him caught behind"

There were a couple of nicely timed boundaries off his legs but, when the time the rain came at 3.34pm, England would have been the happier of the sides to get back to the dressing room. Despite criticism about the balance of their side, England named an unchanged XI, meaning Ben Stokes continued as third seamer and No. 8 batsman. The balance of their side will remain a talking point over the final two matches of the series - weather permitting.

"It's really disappointing that the rain came in," Wade added. "We started so well. But we're 1-0 up and we're looking to push-on.

"Mitch is one of the quickest I've kept to for a while. More importantly, his accuracy is second to none and he is swinging the ball nicely, too. When you move the ball back in at 90 mph it is tough for any batsman. One of our aims is to take early wickets and he is doing that for us.

"He probably feels a lot fresher. He got away from international cricket for a while. The scrutiny and pressure he was under is hard work for anybody. So to come in with a fresh mindset is probably the key to his success.

"If you're picking the Ashes team tomorrow he would definitely be in it. We don't have a lot of available fast bowlers right now. But if he bowls like this, he'll be in the mix for sure."

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

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