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Scotland v England

One-day international, The Grange:
Scotland v England - abandoned, rain

Flintoff bowls Dewald Nel for a golden duck in the final over of Scotland's innings
Andrew Flintoff bowls Dewald Nel for a duck late in Scotland's innings

England's match against Scotland at The Grange was abandoned as a draw as the rain refused to stay away in Edinburgh.

In an innings initially reduced to 47 overs, and then 44, Scotland made 156-9, with Gavin Hamilton's 60 the mainstay of a faltering innings.

England's bowling was led by Andrew Flintoff (3-21) though the recalled Tim Bresnan also impressed with 2-34.

England were 10-0 early in their run chase when a third heavy shower struck, and that, sadly, proved to be terminal.

Flintoff was playing his first one-day international appearance in nearly a year in today's historic first meeting at this level between the two great rivals in front of a near capacity crowd of 6,000.

Just to see the Lancashire all-rounder back in the blue one-day uniform would have been a tonic for Kevin Pietersen as he officially began his reign as England's captain of the limited-overs side.

In Flintoff's absence, England have won just five of their last 15 one-day internationals and with a powerful South African side to be faced in the coming weeks, new captain Pietersen is all too aware of his key all-rounder's importance.

Facing a Scotland line-up including only five players with county experience, Flintoff provided the cutting edge for a new-look England side including debutant Samit Patel.

Bresnan was playing his first one-day international since a brief spell in 2006, while Prior - dropped during the winter - was also back in national colours.

Kevin Pietersen and Andrew Flintoff
Kevin Pietersen was pleased with Andrew Flintoff's performance

Patel set the tone for the early overs with a smart run-out of Scotland captain Ryan Watson from mid-wicket in the second over before Bresnan collected scalps in successive overs to remove Durham's Kyle Coetzer and Warwickshire's Nav Poonia, who both edged to slip.

At 11-3, and facing humiliation at the hands of the auld enemy, Scotland recovered impressively through former Yorkshire and England all-rounder Hamilton and policeman Colin Smith, who forged a determined 64-run fourth-wicket partnership.

Hamilton played a Test for England against South Africa in Johannesburg in 1999 - when he bowled 15 wicketless overs and suffered ducks in both innings - but he showed his experience to hold the Scotland innings together.

Smith finally fell for 36 having hit three fours and two sixes when he upper cut Stuart Broad to third man.

Before then Hamilton had already enjoyed two reprieves on 24, firstly when he was dropped by Anderson at slip off Flintoff and then put down by Luke Wright at third man in the next over off Broad.

We're not saying by any stretch of the imagination we were going to win but something could have happened

Scotland's Gavin Hamilton

His 119-ball innings, which included four fours and three sixes, was finally ended with just four overs remaining when Flintoff returned to the attack and induced an edge behind which was superbly caught by Prior as Hamilton attempted to guide the ball down to third man.

Flintoff followed that success by bowling two tail-enders in a final over that cost just six.

Facing an amended victory target of 159 off 44 overs, England had just enough time for Ian Bell to hit the only boundary of their innings during a new opening partnership with Prior before the final deluge ended the contest.

Hamilton said afterwards: "The England game is as big as it gets, it's just a sad and disappointing end to what potentially could have been a semi-decent game.

"As soon as the fixture came out there was a major buzz around the team. It's a game everyone wanted to play in, it was an incentive for everyone to do well during the summer.

"England versus Scotland speaks for itself. We're not saying by any stretch of the imagination we were going to win but potentially something could have happened."

see also
Rain dampens Auld Enemy encounter
18 Aug 08 |  Scotland
Scots name squad to face England
14 Aug 08 |  Scotland
Bopara replaces Vaughan in squad
04 Aug 08 |  England

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