Updated: 25/08/2012 19:33 | By pa.press.net

Cardiff washed out



The first ODI at Cardiff was abandoned due to rain

The first ODI at Cardiff was abandoned due to rain

England's hopes of exacting revenge against their Test conquerors South Africa were frustrated as the first match of their NatWest one-day series was washed out with less than half-an-hour's play possible in Cardiff.

Ian Bell did his best to offer the drenched supporters some entertainment, clubbing two huge sixes on his way to 26 not out from 18 balls, but England's 37 without loss from 5.3 overs was a poor return for more than five hours of watching the skies.

The sides were contesting a reduced 23-over contest when the game was finally abandoned under the heaviest rain of the day.

Play in the first one-day international was due to begin at 10.15am and the rival captains got as far as the toss, with AB de Villiers calling correctly and opting to field.

The dark clouds above duly began to open and the start was delayed. A handful of provisional start times - and revised playing conditions - were set and then abandoned as the rain continued to set in but spectators finally got some action when the sides took to the field at 3pm.

A 24-over match was scheduled at that point but spectators reacted with disbelief when just one delivery - a leg-side wide by Morne Morkel - was sent down before the players left the field again.

A slow handclap ensued and the delay this time lasted just 10 minutes before hostilities were resumed, this time with a further over per innings removed.

Alastair Cook (10no) might already have been gone after a bold single gave Wayne Parnell the chance of a run-out from mid-on. He missed from close range to reprieve the England skipper.

From there it was all about Bell. He took a step down the track before swiping Morkel into the stands at mid-wicket for six and followed up with an even better lofted six over mid-off. England took 16 off that fifth over to double their total and when Bell stepped outside off-stump and flicked Lonwabo Tsotsobe for four over short fine-leg it looked as though fireworks were imminent.

Instead, it turned out to be a damp squib as just two more balls were possible before the rain returned with vengeance. This time the weather was heavy and locked in for a long time, leaving officials with no choice but to call a halt to proceedings.

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