another short ball, rears from the ground and du Plessis wants nothing to do with it again
4:30pm And that's that! Thank you for those who stuck around with us for what's now over six hours since the last ball. It was shaping up to be something beautiful, this game, but as both captains and several pundits have said - you just can't do anything about it. On behalf of Danyal, Miller, Sharda, Liam, and Chandan, this is me signing off. Have a good evening!
Faf du Plessis: These are the worst. Both teams wanted to play and get results but you can't control the weather. For us it was important on a day like this to start not losing may wickets. It's like Test cricket. But they did well to get two wickets. [Shortage] favours the team that bats second. But even saying that if you get 30-35 overs, on a big ground you can defend. Lungi will be ready for the next match. will be good to have him back. We didn't play our best cricket so far. We've got to beat Afghanistan [next game].
Jason Holder: Yeah really good start again by the bowlers. It's unfortunate the weather came. So far we've been getting new ball wickets. It's just a matter for our bowlers to hit the straps and continue doing what we're doing. We don't mind giving away runs. We're hoping Russell pulls up before the next game. [Three in three] would have probably been happy with that at the start of the tournament.
4:15pm The match has been abandoned. Just as Miller and the press box gasp at what he says is the brightest spot of sunlight they've got all day. Ah well. The teams will get a point each. South Africa can now score a maximum of 11 points in this tournament. Given the general theme of rain so far, that may or may not be an entirely bad thing. The problem, of course, it that they need to win five matches without even getting a chance to turn around their form after those three poor games before today. They're not completely out, yet.
West Indies will feel they have lost a lot more today. They go up to three points in three matches, which is not truly reflective of how they've played so far - been either in the contest or ahead for most parts. C'est la vie.
4:07pm Well, Miller tells me 4.55pm is the last moment we can start, not 5pm.
A final inspection will happen at 4.25pm 4.25pm is the latest time for a decision.. Oh, and, "THE SUPERSOPPERS ARE BACK! Not ... Dead ... Yet ... (it's definitely brighter!)" Hope springs eternal.
Lukas Stoop : "I am torn, as an South African supporter I don't want the game to resume because I doubt we can win. But as a cricket lover and admirer of the West Indies, I want the game to happen. "
Rakesh: "I thought a super sopper would look like a fancy millitary grade chopper or a high tech machine. But it's just a bland road roller wrapped in a huge sponge. Disappointed !"
Antonio : "C'mon umpires. This is as good as it gets right now. We're at the field and the sun is coming out. Why they have to forcefully continue with this antiquated and inefficient protocols in this era is beyond me. Cmon ICC get up to speed with international sports already and get the game going now!"
3:58pm Thanks, Danyal. As of now, we officially have 62 minutes remaining for the start of a 20-over match. For clarity - we'd need to have the rain stopped, the ground dry, and Oshane Thomas at the top of his mark at 5pm.
Prav: "If it wasn't for you guys and your unwavering optimism, I'd have signed off long ago. Here's hoping..." --- Cricinfo runs on Miller optimism
Free WiFi: "I picked Cottrell as my bowler for the fantasy game. As it stands I have seven points, even if the game gets washed out! The Proteas should take the point and run!"
Juna39: "VERY disappointed that South Africa's finest rain-break-but-also-drink-at-all-times-drink, brandy and coke, is not on Liam's poll. Being South-African, I abstain my vote. That said, being a Proteas fan causes one to (recently) look deep into the brandy bottle. But alas, I shall never, NEVER, not back my team. Bleak WC so far, but it ain't over 'till it's over... #ProteaFireAnotherRoundOfBrandysPlease " --- Anything for #AnotherRoundOfBrandys
And to administer what feels like the last rites, here's Varun again
So as there's nothing to do here, why don't you go over and show some love to Liam's quirky new poll?
03:45 So this is beginning to get farcical now. The umpires walk up to inspect the pitch, and it is at that moment the drizzle resumes.
The covers are coming back on. The rain has picked up. No longer a drizzle.
03:25pm Right. So progress, of sorts. The next inspection is at 03:45pm, 20 minutes from now. Some covers are off, including the ones for the bowlers' run-ups.
Navin: "Recent study says that 90% people who use espncricinfo website are actually accessing it from a place where they aren't supposed to !! I am one of them and so are YOU :)" Shhh, it's our little secret
Miller again in his inimitable style. "There is a cloud rumbling in from the West that looks almost exactly like an Imperial Cruiser. But the Ewoks are ploughing on doggedly down on Endor. Another cover has just been removed from the scene!" Will the excitement never cease...
AndreB: "Can't decide if the rain is a good or bad thing for Proteas... "
wafi : "Just checked accuweather and was unimpressed by 'inaccurate' reporting by Miller only to realize it was Southampton in Bermuda." Now that would be a nice place to play cricket.
03:20pm Miller chirps up from Southampton again. "The umpires are taking a look, as planned ... their umbrellas are down, I am over-excited to report. As for the cloud cover, it remains defiantly indeterminate. like a pair of white socks that was once washed with a black fleece and has never been allowed to forget it." Translation: As you were, just about.
Kaustav Sengupt: "Based on the weather forecast, it's going to rain until late night. So, I don't think there is any remote chance to get in 20 overs a side." Hard to argue with you. But hey, you never know. Except the Met office say they know, and they certainly appear to.
03:00pm Live pictures from Southampton seem to show the SuperSoppers at work again, though the steady drizzle continues unabated. The prospect of play looks to have diminished greatly, or so the tone of Mark Nicholas' voice on commentary had me believe. "Cricketers are optimists," he rather dubiously claims. And so we wait.
Mushtaq: "Why don't you publish my comments .. do you carry out Lucky draw for publishing comments.. my guess for player of the tournament is Jos Buttler"
Trihan: "If this game is abandoned, doesn't it mean that the chances for the Proteas to qualify for the semis are quite over? Not to write them off or something but the Kiwis looks like the possible no.4 " Having won all their games, the Kiwis could well be a lot higher than No.4. But as I understand it, a washout today gives SA the chance to qualify, but they'd need to win all five of their remaining games and probably rely on a third-party result or two. Bleak, bleak World Cup for them so far.
Akmaldheen: "Now who is the Miller here? Is it actually David Miller who is so excited to make this game happen? " It's our very own Andrew Miller, though you'd imagine David in the Proteas dressing room would be similarly eager to get on with it.
Badhat: "Why is it that pitch inspections are always in twenty-five or thirty minutes time and the umpires don't just take the opportunity immediately to inspect it? It seems wasteful in terms of time." There is a good chance there's no decent answer to that question. One possible theory is an inspection can only happen once groundstaff are done, but you're right, it shouldn't need to take half an hour when time is being lost.
Right, so temper that optimism you might have begun to feel, because it's drizzling again. Miller says it's still quite bright out, so this might not be as desperate as it sounds.
There will be a pitch inspection at 0315pm, which is about 25 minutes from now.
02:45pm Miller has three words, and they are brimful of unrestrained joy. "COVERS COMING OFF!"
A more detailed update from Miller now he's composed himself.
"This. Is. On. Covers are being peeled off very slowly, to a rapturous round of applause from an entire brolly-free audience. And I have just glimpsed the outline of the actual SUN, high above the ground ... still deeply encrusted in cloud, but this is progress!"
Hello, everyone. let's see if I have anything worthwhile to report on in this next hour.
2:38pm Groundstaff have quite a task based on the visuals on TV. Big puddles. The drizzle does appear to have stopped, though. Here's Danyal to take it forward.
Vanja Patrakar: "The retractable roof at Wimbledon Centre Court was estimated £80-100 million. Surely, if we drop The Hundreds, two stadiums can get roofed. "
2:12pm Drizzle's slimming down, notes Miller, and there is groundstaff on the covers again.
Meanwhile, Liam's found some sun by thinking outside of the World Cup. A poll on men who've hit six sixes in an over - which one's your favourite? Head over to the Live Report.
1:36pm "Definitely drizzling," says Sharda.
Elandre: "@Michael Lowe, I am in full agreement 2 wickets down and a slow start. No way would we win. Would be a pity for the Windies if it turns into a t20 Cottrell did well to put them in the drivers seat so far"
Al Jamon: "Perhaps the need to have the equipment for DRS means the broadcasters need to be present, which makes scheduling back-up days more complicated" --- Yes and there can be a whole variety of other reasons, all of which add to the costs as well. It is simply more convenient, if you're an organizer, to split points.
shaneoh: "@Dirk - clearly it's not that simple. The organisers would need to plan for each and every reserve day, not just the few that end up being needed. It would add a huge amount of time to the tournament."
Michael Lowe: "coming from an SA fan... if we dont get onto the field in the next 30 minutes - then probably better to hope we dont go on at all... not going to post anything half defend-able with that start... even 10 an over for the remaining 12.3 overs wouldne be enough against WI in a T20"
kieran: "@dez I'll take a wild guess, does it contain the words, rain or persistent drizzle? Ahh.. rain Mon/Tue/Wed/Thurs. Chin up, not bad week, they've actually got a partly cloudy day on Friday."
Max: "It's raining all the way up to Sunday in all the venues what a washed up world cup this is turning out to be all permutation and probabilities go out of the window literally..."
Dirk: "Can't understand why it is so difficult to keep reserve days. It's not as if 10-15 games would need it but the 4-5 that might, it can be accommodated. If I remember correctly, 1999 WC had reserve days."
dez: "I dare everyone to look at the forecast for tomorrows match at Bristol..."
Niral K Gandhi: "I'm with Syed Rizvi for this comment. Would it be difficult to continue the game from where it left off on very next day at the same place, same pitch? Spectators can be given free entry on next day based on their tickets too. It would add into administration, ground rental and broadcasting cost...but, hey! This is a profit making event, isn't it??" --- Yes.
Bilal: "Why is there a need to broadcast it? If it's not possible to broadcast for the next day, its not being broadcast anyways if its not being played. So where possible, they can broadcast the next day, if not, no need" --- I mean, yes, that would be great. But 2019 cricket seems to revolve solely around broadcast.
Carrington: "If they go ahead and have a 20/20 game does SA start all over or continue from 7.3 overs?" --- They'll continue, of course. But the fact they've lost two wickets already leaves them a slim chance of any runs getting added to their final total on DLS. Which would have been the case if they were no wickets down, or even just a wicket down.
Sujan Sarkar: "What is the local cut-off time for a match of minimum 20 overs per side." --- 5pm.
Syed Rizvi: "This is a world cup, not a bilateral series. Match effected by rain should have extra day to play... giving one point to each team is unfair in this big tournament." --- Would be tough to find 70-90 days in the calendar. Or for broadcasters to produce 3-4 matches on a day, I imagine. So either way it's implausible.
1:34pm Oh no. Miller says it appears to be drizzling again.
Omer Chauhan: "Whats the most number of WC matches ever washed out in a single tournament?" --- Looks like it's a tie based on my querying: two matches in '92, two in 2003. But I am digging deeper...
Aleem: "May be we should stop trusting Miller and start praying that the Rain Gods show some mercy, and let us atleast have a 20/20 game."
1:29pm Thanks, Danyal. There has been no evidence my milkshake brings boys to yards or men to fields, but we shall hope.
Right, my rain dance seems to have got the SuperSoppers out. Let's hope Varun, coming in, actually gets the men on the field.
01:15pm: "Absolute scenes," Miller shouts from his lunch table in excitement. "The white clouds have seized the citadel, there are actual humans on the covers brushing away water. The skies are the colour of a slightly chalky puddle, and there is life in this soggy jamboree yet.
"Here come the SuperSoppers! There are SuperSoppers on the outfield! This is not a drill, repeat, this is not a drill!"
Asim pervez: "I never post but with millers excitement I just feel sad when in 5 minutes it's going to start raining again and all our hopes will be dashed. Was hoping to watch some cricket as it's my day of after a tiring weekend but let's see "
Robert de Hoog: "Don't you have rain radar over there? Here from Holland it seems fairly evident that the rain will continue for a long time as a low pressure area hovers over South England. Robert d." The Dutch come in to dent South African hopes. This feels appropriate somehow.
deepak: "@Danyal: Nice to see you all poetic with the rain updates. But would appreciate updates in plain english as well. Just so that people like can understand as well." Appears there is better news. The sky has cleared (for now) and the SuperSoppers are working on drying the surface
01:10pm: Miller's fished around for the cut-off time, and it appears we need to be out on the field at 5PM UK time latest for 20 overs a side. It continues to rain, meanwhile, and our folks at the ground tell us it is persistent rather than torrential.
Nitish R: "@Danyal: Couldn't resist asking this. What are your predictions for the Ashes ? Seems like James Anderson is doing a fine job for Lancashire. " Loads of rain seems the safest bet.
Mohammed: "AB was without a doubt my favorite batsmen of all time but now i will never remember him as the GOAT... He can sit at home and sip on his Rooibos for all I care!"
Craig V: "Not many Proteas fans will answer that poll in the affirmative. AB retired last year, and should have stayed that way until this "broke"...feels like digging a knife into the back of the Proteas and CSA whilst making himself look like the affected party." I can feel the heat of the censure from here.
Jack Gibson: "I'm in Belfast and it's sunny here. Why don't they just move the match over here instead?!" Well, why didn't they have Ireland in the World Cup anyway? Let's not open that can of worms, I suppose.
Liam, meanwhile, fancies some controversy, so he's put up an AB de Villiers poll. Go, people, go and vote! Let him know just what you think.
Sharda Ugra, who's accompanying Miller at the Ageas Bowl, has something she wants to get off her chest.
"I have been to three World Cup venues and must say this: in the press box biscuit competition, Bristol is a clear leader," she sighs wistfully.
Miller at the ground is his usual cheery self. "Well, it could be worse, and at least we thought to pack some tea in a thermos, and isn't this Victoria Sponge lovely, and it's definitely looking brighter on the horizon, even if I'm still being dive-bombed by raindrops the size of hornets..."
Here's a positive, if unofficial, update .Majuran says "I'm at the ground and it's getting brighter even tough its still cloudy above. Amount of rainfall massively lower compared to earlier. Look like it is going to stop. #SLfan"
Grubb: "Speaking of Liam, does he have any new quips about Noel? As you were." Liam won't rise to the bait. Far too professional for that, is our Zimbabwean-South African correspondent.
Shivam: "How many overs have been lost till now? " We must only have just started losing overs.
Ashwin Kumar: "What ever happened to the supersoppers? Those things gave us something to smile about in an otherwise dull and dreary 2007 World Cup in West Indies; thanks to them the water got drained pretty quickly!" Well, the drainage in Southampton is supposed to be good. But that part of getting things ready only begins when the heavens close.
I am indeed. If you're sitting around, doing nothing, waiting for the sodding rain to end, why not do it with me? Or Liam at the live report?
12:24pm Still no updates on the situation. A change here though - Danyal's back.
12pm Covers still very much on. There is nothing new to report. Or so I thought before this Miller update: "Officially upgraded to "oh bother, what a shame"... steady, mizzly, insidious misery falling from the skies now. It's the sort of weather that leaves sheep waterlogged."
Antonie Dixon: "Just wanting to watch South Africa put out a better performance, really disappointed with the last few games but hopefully De Kock goes hard after the rain delay"
A Brennan: "@Paul Watson, I couldn't agree more but being an SA fan I was struggling to list the positive and keep the hope alive. Here's another one. De Kock has an ODI batting average of 45.88. To balance out his last 3 innings, theory of statistics suggest he must score an 80+ today."
Mustafa Moudi: "@Jack: They tried 15 Spins Options and in the process got their Best Batsman - Steven Smith !!"
Jack: "Australia had that problem as well in many periods, I remember after the retirement of Warne, Aus tried about 15 spin options before settling with Lyon" --- Ah, Jason Krejza's 8-for on debut, which happened to be his penultimate match. Cameron White picked as the second spinner, batting at 8. Good times.
Edward: "Could be a long road for recovery for South Africa. Reminds a lot of England in 2015; a changing of the guard period where previously great players have retired or are on the way out, but the youngsters aren't quite at the top of their game yet."
Peter Imrie: "Things are going to go from bad to worse for the Proteas after this World Cup. Players association at war with CSA, CSA losing money at an alarming rate and the MSL not able to compete with the other global leagues at all. There will be more players heading for greener pastures one imagines."
Avishek Basu Ma: "@Shiny Side - That was the match where Jonty ran out Inzy. The gods were infuriated that a human being could pull something off like that and put a rain curse on the Proteas for eternity."
Sriram: "It's really painful to see Abbott performing very well in county where as SA is struggling with Pacers. It's really going to get worse for CSA as Faf is also nearing his End of Career, Are we gonna witness another SriLanka Scenario ? Other hand how good teams like AFG and Ireland have risen and BAN have earned their name as Big Boys." --- And I believe Duanne Olivier has had batsmen hopping to get out of the way all over - ten hits to the head off his bowling at last count.
Naeema and Raso: "If what Shiny Side is indeed correct then as a Pakistani I will be very happy because then I can say k '92 world cup mein bhi aisa he hua tha...' heheh..#IfYouKnowYouKnow"
Paul Watson: "Brennan, I applaud your hopefulness but the weather couldn't have picked a worse side to try a T20 blast against. BTW it's tea, milk, no sugar."
Shiny Side: "There was one game where I believe the rain helped South Africa. That was in 1992 vs Pakistan in Melbourne.
Stuart: "@ Shaun Tooray - Yeah, what gods would bestow one team with Rabada, Steyn and ABdV. That would be desperately unfair."
Shaun Tooray: "The cricket gods have never been kind to the Proteas... We need to bring them back and do some traditional healing on them! Lets hope they pull together and this rain washes away their bad form..i mean luck!"
Jack: "That poll is essentially: caffeine addicts vs. more reserved caffeine addicts!"
Rooqash: "You guys divided the tea votes into 4 fractions, that's why coffee is winning!!!"
Geoff Edwards: "I'm at the ground, using the rain break to change the name of our cricket Whatsapp group from "Vision 2019" to "Vision 2023""
Arslan Satti: "Looks like coffee is wining. I would never havr thought that, I always assumed tea and cricket fans are bound together like rain and England. "
Prabir: "Hyping myself up to win the 2023 World Cup! Go Proteas! Optimism is the secret to a happy life. "
Kartik: "@Mukunth the answer is 1996 and 2007, when SA were Larad and McGrathed to pieces without rain!!!"
David: "Coffee and milk with two sugars are neck and neck!" --- It is a scintillating contest!
Tyler Stanley: "let's go Windies! We've got a great base at the moment, just got to keep on attacking and get these 2 points!">br>
Prahalad : "Hemant, to recover from 3 straight losses in the first 3 matches and ti win 6 matches on a trot is almost a miracle in itself. After losing 2/3rd of your frontline pacers, it'll be one of the best turnarounds in the history of WC. "
A Brennan: "Welcome Varun. I for one think rain might be good for SA. They've been struggling with scoring big for 50 long overs. Wash out a few overs and who knows they come out as winners by contesting on a shorter format. They need a sprint instead of marathon!"
Mukunth: "On a lighter rain (vein), it will be a good quiz question to ask in which world cup a SA match was not affected by rain?" --- I will pardon the pun this time, Mukunth.
11:41am Liam's keeping things alive over at the Live Report. Your choice of tea on a rainbreak? Go over and tell him!
11:39am "Dramatic developments! The skies are definitely brighter than they were before we came off ... but the covers remain rather soggy. Having said that, there's another grubby grey cloud lurking its way over from the M27, so the net result is ... no progress whatsoever." - Miller with no good news.
PJ: "Re Helgard Cronje's optimism, I think they were just getting their weather pun in first. "weather the storm"..."
Hemant Patel: "I believe people have been little too premature in written off Proteas. So what they had few losses. There is a lot of cricket to be played. People in general have been quick to put few sides (e.g. India) on pedestal and written-off few sides like SA. I have a feeling this tourni will provide few surprises by the time it is done."
Duncan Ward: "I predicted before the tournament that 40% of the games would be rain affected in some way and we're already doing way better than that!"
Sacha: "How did we suddenly get to 4:04 pm?" --- Because I am an idiot. Thanks.
kieran: "To play your easier games and win (without rain) is worth it's weight in gold in this tournament e.g. NZ. Although I would like to see all games played, if you are going to get rained out, much better against a tougher team:)"
Elandre: "Fun to be a South African supporter at the moment. Choosing between losing or drawing this game what a choice."
Aabhas: "After a long time there is so much optimism around West Indies and Everyone wants them to do well. So obviously they had to have rotten luck! Last game and seemingly this one."
Martin: "Rain breaks would seemingly make this SA side more productive. Could actually get a point on the board if the weather holds. " --- Mean.
11:30am Thanks, Danyal. How's it going everyone? How do you normally handle rain breaks? Do they make you more productive?
"The groundstaff have just hammered some pegs into the covers to prevent them from billowing," Miller continues. "Might as well boil that kettle." Which, incidentally, is what I'm off to do. Meanwhile, be good to Varun, who pops back in.
"I predicted we'd be off after five overs, so today has already exceeded my expectations", trills our colleague Andrew Miller, who's at the ground on this lovely day. (Presumably he picked the shortest straw.)
Tushar J: "On a lighter note, SA fans should be happy if this is a washed out. At least they will get off the mark on the points table :D" A bitter Farhad wants to burn the house down. Lots of complaints about the rain (rain in England in June, who knew?), and of course it's going to frustrate teams later on who desperately need the points. Pakistan and Sri Lanka faced that situation just a few days ago, and these two won't be the last.
Tushar J: "On a lighter note, SA fans should be happy if this is a washed out. At least they will get off the mark on the points table :D"
Azweer: "After league stage, How many minimum points does a team need to stay on top-4...???" I expect if today is anything other than a South African win, they will have to win all five of their remaining games to stand a chance.
"So now the Rain Gods come back to Haunt SAF," Amit exclaims. Looks like their cricket is doing a good enough job of the haunting as it is, though.
Right, so we haven't managed to get much cricket in, but what little has transpired has all gone West Indies way. South Africa have already lost two wickets, the horribly out-of-form Amla and the man who many believed would replace him Aiden Markram. Du Plessis and de Kock have a job to do here, but only if the weather clouds pass. Which, I understand, is a big if.
And the hint of a drizzle. Can't say this wasn't on the radar. It's getting heavier, apparently, and it looks like they'll go off right away.
Helgard Cronje: "It is not easy upfront. We need to learn to weather the storm first. Lets just get through the opening spell here. Faf and Quinten needs to take responsibility now..." At last a hopeful Saffer comment. But then again, with the Proteas, it's the hope that kills
rising short ball, but outside off stump so du Plessis can afford to shoulder arms
slightly more room and run down third man.
wicket maiden comes to an end as du Plessis blocks
looks to hamstring the batsman, no opportunity whatsoever to free his arms. West Indies bowling to a plan, and executing brilliantly
rose on him sharply,. The batsman thought about a quick single, but de Kock was wisely sent back
Jannie Conradie: "Any signs of rain yet as this is making it really hard to follow as a Saffa fan!! " Expected at some point for sure, but South Africa need two points, not one
tight line, du Plessis defends
starts off with a hostile bouncer to the Proteas' skipper, who stays low
ali: "Lets discuss about amla's technique. can anyone explain the dilemma of bat coming with an angle form 2nd slips?" Lots of you weighing in on Amla's plight with a lot of sympathy and kindness. Seems like everyone wants him to get out of this rut, but it just doesn't seem to happen
and Cottrell snares another one! Targeting Markram with the short ball, into his ribs. The batsman tamely flicks it, trying to run it down to fine leg. Gets a slight tickle on to it instead, which a diving keeper pouches. Markram barely even waits for the decision, walking off in disgust
driven straight down for another couple. Three from a tight over
driven to extra cover
guided to the onside as Markram gets off strike
another bouncer, but not well-directed enough to worry the batsman, sails over comfortably
stump-to-stump line, defended stoutly
Umair A.: "There was a time when Amla and De Kock was one of the most fearsome ODI opening pair. Sadly both have been out of form for some time now."
this is what de Kock is so good at! width at a comfortable pace, and the batsman latches on to it. Whipped through point and races for four. Productive over for South Africa for a change.
dragged down slightly. Half-hearted lbw appeal
in the air again as de Kock square cuts. A diving Roach at the boundary saves two runs
driven elegantly to mid-off. Wanted to get it either side of him
this short ball troubled de Kock more. This one rose and got big on him, and the fend off from the left-handed scooped straight into the air. Much quicker, and de Kock wears an expression of alarm and surprise