that is a fantastic way to get off the mark! Little more than a pushed drive, on the up, and whistling through the covers, albeit with a bit of a misfield ...
9.34pm It's all over, England have won by 39 runs on D/L. Nothing left to see here. A fine game for as long as it lasted, and a valiant chase from Quinton de Kock in particular. But in the end, Jos Buttler's latest brutal onslaught underpinned a fine team effort from England, who take a 1-0 lead to Saturday's second ODI at Port Elizabeth. Have a read of David Hopps' match report before you go. From Alan Gardner and myself, good night.
9.31pm The umpires are out in the middle, we might have a decision soon. Most observers have given up the ghost ...
9.26pm Martin: "Unfunny joke: The World Drivers' Champion was questioned on his knowledge of cricket: "How much is a duck worth, Lewis?" He went mad calculating it." Yeah. That's about the measure of it ...
JC: "I think that if the game was to have 5 overs left (ie 39 overs available to SA) then their target would be 346, so only 96 runs in 5.3 overs at the easy pace of 17.45 RPO." Well, what are we waiting for? Bring it on ...
9.12pm Scratch that. The rain is back. Humbug.
Rishav: "Publish something to keep us awake miller or give a link to an interesting piece of article" ... Fair enough, here you go. Something that sums up the state of play. Say hello to my mate Joel while you drop by ...
Arthur Punter: "De Kock deserves to be on the winning team. Does he have any English blood?" That tends not to matter where the England team is concerned ... but I digress...
Tamim Arifin: "Lina, Will You Marry me? #I_am_not_kidding_at_all"
Faizan : "Miller, have you ever received any marriage proposals to publish via comments on cricinfo commentary? Given the frequency with which mine get published I am contemplating doing that. " No, but my former colleague Jenny Thompson did just that, and reader, she married him ... Fact.
9.10pm Right, the rain has stopped, the ultimate cut-off time is 10.18pm and we've probably got to factor in a half-hour mopping-up. There could be time for a five-over fight to the finish ...
Yousuf Syed: "Not to forget, De Kock has been keeping for 50 overs, and has been dictating terms from ball 1 of this innings too. The fact that the rain has come to spoil the party, I'd have given De Kock the MOM - if only as consolation. " If he gets the chance to finish off what he's started, it'lll be a shoo-in ..
8.50pm Stuart: "Thoughts on Man of the match? Does it have to go to someone on the winning team? What if they get back on the park and QdK smashes a 170 (or dare I dream, a double ton) yet SA still lose? Not disparaging Buttler's knock at all but a MotM award should be seen in it's singularity, not necessarily on the outcome of the match (just my two cents) " I agree, de Kock's knock has been the outstanding innings of the match. But arguably the man of the match should be Moeen Ali - 3 for 43, or even Ben Stokes for that match-turning catch. Imagine AB in full flow on this deck!
8.44pm The light rain has intensified, unfortunately. It is looking minging out there, but as Shaun Pollock says, think of the poor farmers! The drought is ending, just as South Africa's hopes in this game are ending...
Hamayoun: "Regarding the Stokes catch... coincidentally, Reese Topley's father, Don, also took a great one handed catch at the boundary when he was on as 12th man for England vs West Indies in the 1984 series, but couldn't stay inside the boundary. I still remember the glares he got from the other players, when I though he deserved at least an 'unlucky son'." Good memory, here's how "Ask" Steven Lynch remembered it ...
PS, some conspiracy theorists reckon Stokes also was out of bounds for his catch ... but the ropes had been blown out by some two metres ...
8.37pm So, the official finish time for this innings is, I believe, 9.15pm. However there is an extra half-hour available if a resumption is on the cards. So make of that what you will. Either way, it is currently soggy, England are currently winning, and Quinton de Kock is currently resting his cramping limbs after what has already been an astounding innings.
Chris: "Poor old Mick Lewis, he wasn't such a bad bowler, but he will always be remembered for that game. Just like Broad who in 100 years time will only be remembered for being smashed for 36 runs irrespective of what great height he manages to achieve. I admit that 19 wickets in a match might scratch out that enduring memory." I suspect, in England and Australia, he is probably more likely to be remembered for this innings ... but I take your point!
8.31pm Meanwhile, if you are at a loose end, and are likely to still be at a loose end come Sunday, February 21, our chums at All Out Cricket are hosting a day-long cricket festival at Lord's, with player Q&As, coaching sessions and equipment expos ... and you can win a pair of VIP passes by going to this link right here
Jmani: "Miller, Since you have nothing to report now, why don't you post all the feedback that come by your way and keep the readers happy. That's the primary objective right? Having a rest @cricinfo office is a shame " Alright alright, a man cannot commentate without the occasional trip to the kettle, you know...
8.28pm So, not a lot to report for now. Though Firdose Moonda tells me that Bloemfontein rain is very similar to Johannesburg rain ...
wet liable to come and go very dramatically. We shall see ...
8.22pm Uh oh ... seems as though those D/L updates were handy after all. The rain has arrived, and we are off the field for now ...
Talking of D/L, the par score at the end of 34 overs would be 290 ... England are more comfortably placed than de Kock's magnificence would imply ...
Kushal: "Back in 2006 , SA were 50 runs and 1 wkt ahead (chasing 35 runs more) , with 2 new batsmen on crease. i would consider this to even with current situation . lets see how this ends?"
wristily drilled into the covers. Smartly gathered
Rob: "Rilee c Willey b Ali .. sounds silly?" Tee hee hee
width and driven hard to cover
Faizan Butt: "Back in Johannesburg 2006 when south Africa were chasing 434, Everyone was glued in watching something/miraculous. Less than 10 years ahead and how the game has changed. Chasing 400 seems very much doable given the batsmen keep playing sensibly! " That game was ludicrous though... just body blow after body blow, until Mick Lewis in particular was just a brown stain on the outfield. This has been a strangely serene accumulation ...
that was the pressure that told in the end. Another well-flighted delivery, Rossouw aims something dramatic over the covers, but gets underneath his shot. Long-off hardly has to move, and if de Kock didn't already know it, it really is all on his plate now ...
driven back to the bowler
straightens on a middle-and-leg line, worked into the leg-side for another single
pushed to cover
Robin: "ODIs have come a long way in the last 2 years. Six off an over is the new maiden!" And a maiden is the new hat-trick
tossed up on middle and leg, eased down to wide mid-on
Stof: "Just another quick 50 from QDK, 40 from Riley, 30 from Behardien & Morris and Tahir can smack a quick 10 with the rest extras..easy game..not" Simples
round the wicket, slapped hard off the back foot to cover
Here's Moeen. 2 for 41 so far. He's kept chipping away ...
good over in the end, completed with a full-length ball on middle and leg. too tight to free the arms. Worked to midwicket
Skander: "Most likely we will see in 30 years how a team will chase 500" I doubt we'll have to wait that long ...
drilled into the covers but without any timing. Good line and length again
defended off a good length again, Jordan has tightened his line after that inauspicious return
Ranjit: "Why do you keep bringing up the par score when there's no hint of rain in the air?? " Because everyone keeps asking, and I like to oblige ...
better ball, in the blockhole, just outside off, Dabbed to cover for a quick single
Neville Smeda: "5 singles, and 1 boundary an over will get them home. Just mustn't lose any wickets." That's the badger
on the pads, clipped to midwicket
too much width, and Rossouw climbs into that, with a wristy thump through the covers. Jordan's battered figures take another blow
Good evening six maniacs. Let's take this puppy home. The D/L par is currently 260, so 24 adrift. De Kock is receiving some more treatment for cramp but he's standing again. Now then, here's Chris Jordan. A big over coming up for a man who's gone to the cleaners so far ...
Right, looks like drinks. The par score four wickets down is 260 (so SA still 24 behind)... and here's Miller, with his bag of clubs, ready to tee off
dug in, swings across the line, miscued back to Stokes, who's got a cob on
"Let's hope Quinny becomes the First South African to score 200 in an ODI!" hoots Stefan, possibly attempting a blatant jinx
short ball again, this time de Kock puts it away with a roundhouse pull between midwicket and deep sqaure leg
down the leg side this time, another to the total
short ball, angled across and de Kock doesn't go for it... not called wide
full and straight, Rossouw is a little late on it, manages to deflect it behind square
|Mangaung Oval, Bloemfontein|
|Toss||England, elected to bat first|
|Player Of The Match|
Quinton de Kock
|Series result||England led the 5-match series 1-0|
|Match number||ODI no. 3732|
|Hours of play (local time)||13.30 start, First Session 13.30-17.00, Interval 17.00-17.45, Second Session 17.45-21.15|
|Match days||3 February 2016 - daynight (50-over match)|
'Nervous' Buttler takes centre stage again
De Kock seizes his second chance
England's second-highest ODI total
|Q de Kock||not out||138||96|
|F du Plessis||caught||55||44|
|AB de Villiers||caught||8||10|
|F Behardien||not out||4||1|
|Extras||(lb 5, w 2)|
|Total||250(5 wkts; 33.3 ovs)|