|Scorecard:||England v South Africa|
|Event:||South Africa in England 2012|
DateLine: 11th September 2012
England v South Africa, second Twenty20, 10 September 2012
By courtesy of NatWest.
By Andy Jalil at Old Trafford.
Manchester Ė The penultimate international match of the season came to a damp end with rain, the scourge of the cricketing summer, making an unwelcome return. Even after a two-hour delayed start the prospects of a result in Englandís second Twenty20 match against South Africa were washed away in a deluge with 4..5 overs still remaining.
The match had been truncated to just nine overs a side and for England a positive result was essential to draw level in this three-match series having suffered a seven-wicket defeat in the first. This was the second time that an international Twenty20 match on this ground was abandoned owing to rain. The previous occasion was against Australia in September 2009 when the match was called off without a ball being bowled.
With the World Twenty20 tournament in Sri Lanka this month, England will need to win the final match today to have the confidence to defend their World Twenty20 championís crown. Their performance against South Africa this season has been poor in all forms of the game and it was so again on Monday after South Africa were asked to bat first.
Yet again Hashim Amla proved a thorn in Englandís side as he has done all season, excelling with the bat to remain unbeaten with 47 which included seven fours from the 38 balls faced. Of the seven batsmen who came to the crease only Jacques Kallis with 13 not out got into double figures, apart from Amla. South Africa lost the first wicket with Steve Finn having Richard Levi caught behind off the first ball and he struck again to dismiss AB De Villiers for 1 with the total on 20 to finish with two wickets for 17 from the two overs permitted per bowler.
The tourists were reduced to 37 for three after just 4.2 overs and ten runs later off spinner Graeme Swann took a high return catch to dismiss JP Duminy. It was the next ball after Amla had been dropped on 31. Amla went on playing his shots, flicking and slashing and guiding his side to 77 for five.
In their chase, England lost two wickets, the first on 3 with Craig Kieswetter held off Dale Steyn in the second over and then on 29 the Morkel brothers combined to dismiss Luke Wright just as the downpour forced the players in. At that point, on 4.1 overs, England were behind on the Duckworth-Lewis method for which five overs had to be completed for a result.
Earlier, England had dropped leading all-rounder Ravi Bopara for this match with him being in such poor form but he travels to Sri Lanka as he is in the squad for the tournament. However, there is much speculation about Kevin Pietersen who has been dropped by England from all forms of cricket for disciplinary reasons. Although he is not in the side for Sri Lanka, there are meetings taking place for a decision with regard to his inclusion for the tour of India in November with the team due to be announced this week.
(Article: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author only.
Copyright © 2012 Andy Jalil)