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England v South Africa ODI series

South Africa 6-1 (3 overs) v England (match abandoned - rain)

England's hopes of a 5-0 whitewash over South Africa were dashed by rain as the final one-day international at Cardiff was abandoned after a mere three overs.

A win for England would have catapulted them into second in the world rankings.

The start was delayed by a wet outfield but a 43-over contest began in blustery conditions after England opted to bowl.

Stuart Broad ousted Herschelle Gibbs in the second over, thanks to a one-handed catch by Matt Prior leaping in front of first slip, but rain had the final say.


By Ben Dirs

e-mail (with 'For Ben Dirs' in the subject), text 81111 (with "CRICKET" as the first word) or use 606. (Not all contributions can be used)


1855: Finally, they've called it off. That's it for England's summer. KP will have to settle for the 4-0 one-day series victory.

Rain delay
1828: It's raining again in Cardiff and night is drawing in... not looking good, I'm off for some food...

"Who chose to play a cricket match in Wales in September? Perhaps the powers that be figured it was going to be England who needed a wash-out to avoid our own five-nil drubbing!"
Gary, Herts in the TMS inbox

"Ironically, I had a dog called Max too when I was a youngster - me and my mates used to have a right laugh getting him to run flat out towards us then throw sausages and various other food items just above his head in an attempt to get him to perform the perfect backflip. Never accomplished, but well tried that dog! Slipping him the odd hot teabag during this trick was also a good source of entertainment."
Sam in Kent in the TMS inbox

"I offer my sincerest commiserations to anyone who actually made the effort to travel all the way to Cardiff to witness a historic whitewash, only to get rained-on, messed about and thoroughly hacked off. If ever there was a slump-to-the-knees-and-bellow-WHY?!?-at-the-heavens moment, I imagine this is right up there. I'm finding it hard to bear and I'm sitting in a warm, dry office eating custard creams so God only knows how bad the people actually at the ground feel. I can only hope they've had an absolute skin-full. Just call the game off, please, and put us all out of our misery."
Steve in London in the TMS inbox

1812: Just to reiterate, if this game is washed out, then England do not leapfrog South Africa in the one-day standings, they stay third.

1805: "I thought it was only the Yanks that didn't understand irony?" screams David Smith. Ah yes, that old chestnut, always trotted out in spite of the fact that Spinal Tap and The Larry Sanders Show, among American productions, were released years before Ricky Gervais put together The Office. Dunno what's going on now, there's a documentary about Amir Khan on the box now...

1800: Dear oh dear, my assertion that it was "ironic" that my dog used to sneeze when I flicked him on the nose has sparked a furore of Morissette proportions. "You're a moron who has no place at the BBC," says Ken from Margate. We did have rainbows for a while over Sophia Gardens, but it's looking grimmer now. Had the game started at 1745, it was due to be 34 overs apiece, so we'll probably be down to under 30 if we do get a restart.

1739: It is absolutely chucking it down in Cardiff now. Even if they do come back out, I can't imagine there'll be many people there to see it. I'm off for a smoke, back in 10...

"Re: hiccups, I've discovered a kind of reverse-Heimlich manoeuvre which works very well on my girlfriend (hold round middle then thrust into diaphragm with belly). Sometimes just the threat of it is enough to do the trick. In fact, it works so well I've started administering the cure to her friends - an added bonus."
Matt, London in the TMS inbox

"Can I put forward Kenny Lynch's 'Half The Day's Gone and We Haven't Earned A Penny' as the anthem for followers of your live update? It seems appropriate."
Mark in Oxford in the TMS inbox

1730: This is all very dispiriting and a little bit farcical. One second we've got shafts of bright sunshine across Sophia Gardens, the next we've got a horrible cloud above the ground. The covers are pulled back on, although there's no rain yet... a couple of Smurfs sit gloomily in the stands, arms crossed, chins tucked into chests... did anyone else fancy Smurfette when they were a kid?

"Alex's review of Dr Zhivago (see below) reminds me very much of the book report, of the same book, that I wrote for Mrs Queen in 1981. I received a sterling 6/10 and was most chuffed. Unfortunately there was no film of the next book chosen - The Road To Wigan Pier. Probably just as well..."
Steve from Edinburgh in the TMS inbox

1724: A rollocking great Brian Blessed laugh from Gus Fraser in the TMS commentary box as some chap chases a rogue plastic bag across the square, slips and hits the deck. Bizarrely, a few seconds later the umpires announce play will start at 1745...

1719: Shaun Pollock is doing Sir Geoffrey Boycott impressions now, it's very much free swim time up in the TMS commentary box. Graeme Swann and Tim Bresnan have been released from the squad so that they can play for their respective counties Notts and Yorkshire in the County Championship. Just thought I'd let you know.

1715: "More watery sunshine," reports TMS commentator Arlo White, and we've got another inspection at any moment. Ironic that you should mention Hector and his hiccups, Nigel, because when I was younger me and my brothers used to flick my dog Max on the nose to make him sneeze.

"I actually talked with Bruce Forsyth on the phone a few years back on business and asked him, "why is Lynchy famous"? not only did he tell me about the song 'Up on the Roof', but he sang it from start to finish. Of course, I put him on load speaker for all the office to hear - Brucey, you are a true legend!"
Jez in the TMS inbox

"I once caddied for Kenny Lynch for two days at the Four Stars pro-celebrity golf tournament at Moor Park Golf Club back in 1984. Everyone was asking me who he was and what he did and as I didn't know either he turned round and sang 'Half The Day's Gone and We Haven't Earned A Penny'. Unfortunately, no-one knew the song either and he went back to playing golf badly."
David White in the TMS inbox

"Get your dog to look at itself in a mirror for about 10 minutes, the hiccups may stop. The dog's mind will be more on what it is looking at, and wonder if it is him."
Stuart in the TMS inbox

1702: Better news from Cardiff - the umpires have had a look and we are to have another inspection at 1715 BST, if it doesn't start stair rodding it down again. Mark Pougatch is having a look at the pitch on behalf of TMS, and he relays that the surface of the wicket "is quite greasy". Plenty of water sitting in patches around the pitch, sawdust being laid, this isn't looking encouraging...

"Kenny Lynch wrote Sha-La-La-La-Lee - a number one hit for The Small Faces. 'Picked her up on a Friday Night, Sha-La-La-La-Lee, I knew everything's gonna be alright, Sha-La-La-La-Lee'. I would suggest the term 'celebrity' is not actually sufficient to encompass Mr Lynch's contribution to the Arts."
Scott, Bristol in the TMS inbox

"After a boozy night out in Preston I developed a massive case of the hiccups. Fortunately a kebab shop owner came to my rescue and gave me a shot of vinegar which worked a treat and has continued to work ever since. However, I am not sure whether you could get a dog to drink some."
Adam Greenwood in the TMS inbox

Rain delay
1653: It's looking pretty sunny again in Cardiff, it looks like an absolute picture, but that little dousing would have done us no favours whatsoever. It took an age to get the covers on the wicket and we could be in for a hefty delay here.

Jonathan Agnew
"If you see the sort of covers and paraphernalia, I'm afraid it all looks a little inadequate. But I'm sure they'll sort it out before next summer's Ashes Test..."
Jonathan Agnew on TMS

"I took my labrador to the vet for hiccups. The vet picked him up and examined both eyes and ears then said, 'I'm going to have to put him down'. I was very shocked and asked why. 'Because he's ruddy heavy' said the vet."
Doug in the TMS inbox

3rd over - 6-1: Alas, we have light drizzle in Cardiff now and the ground staff are readying themselves for action. Some chap at long-on's brollie has turned inside out, a sharp gust of wind and he's Poppins. Amla is off the mark with a work off his pads and he picks up another single with a push to mid-on. Sorry folks, we're off again, it's raining its tadgers off at Sophia Gardens...

Wicket falls
2nd over - Gibbs c Prior b Broad 3, SA 3-1
That's a pearling delivery first-up from Broad, a wicked inswinging yorker which Gibbs does well to dig out. But what a catch that is from Prior! Gibbs goes for a lusty cover-drive, edges and the Sussex gloveman takes an absolutely crackerjack catch diving full-length to his right. Kallis, who has had a stinker of a tour by his lofty standards, is next up the ramp. Kallis blocks out and that's a wicket-maiden.

"Kenny Lynch put out couple of singles highly sort after on the Northern Soul and Garage rock scenes." Terry Lowther, Chelmsford in the TMS inbox

1st over - 3-0: It's Anderson to have first bung with the ball and Gibbs is off the mark immediately with a couple of runs off his pads. One more for Gibbs to mid-wicket, but that's a decent first over from Anderson.

1625: England's players are out in the middle at Sophia Gardens and we'll have play in a moment. It looks pretty nice in Cardiff at the moment, and here come Amla and Gibbs, the South African openers.

1615: Nigel (see below), my nan used to recommend walking into a crowded room and roaring loudly "I HAVE HICCUPS!" Is Hector able to talk? I have to agree with Tom Innes when he says: "I can see the reasoning behind the extra hour's playing time, and the aim to get as much play as possible is laudable. But in today's case it's ridiculous that they're still trying to cram in 86 overs in spite of the poor weather…" With rain forecast for later, why not just have a Twenty20 knockabout and all get home for Who Do You Think You Are? Rantzen's on tonight, not sure about that dog that used to say "sausages".

"My dog Hector currently has hiccups - please can you suggest a cure whilst we're waiting for the off? I couldn't get him to drink upside-down from his bowl and I don't want to shock him in case he soils himself."
Nigel, Farnham in the TMS inbox

"Can you help me raise some sponsorship! I'm playing in a charity cricket match on 14 September. We are raising funds for a charity that helps the families of people who die young of cancer. My sister's husband died on 26 July 2008 from cancer leaving my sister to bring up their two children aged 7 and 3 without their Dad. This charity - - helps people financially who find themselves in this awful position."
Mike Jones in the TMS inbox

1601: Kevin Pietersen has won the toss and England are going to have a bowl. It looks horrible out there, it's blowing a ruddy gale, but we are to have some cricket after all. South Africa have made just one change, with all-rounder Justin Ontong coming in for VD Philander.

1558: "Does anyone know what Kenny Lynch ever did to become a celebrity?" asks Mark Pettman via email. How dare you Mr Pettman. Mr Lynch was, of course, the English Sammy Davis. And he was on Punchlines a lot in the 80s, mainly because he was pals with Lennie Bennett.

1552: The umpires have left the fray and the news is we are due for play at 1630, with a toss at 1600. The match has been reduced to 43 overs each. Apparently that's quite common Chris (see below), it's something to do with the lid on the laptop, that's why people mistake it for a toilet.

"Speaking of laptops, after one particularly heavy uni night out one of my housemates woke in the night to be confronted with our mate sleep-urinating on his laptop, which unsurprisingly was rubbered and cost a grand to replace. Most expensive toilet break said mate has ever taken."
Chris, Milton Keynes in the TMS inbox

"Ha ha, down it comes again. I'm working in Llantrisant and can see in the direction of Cardiff and it ain't good. It is proper persisting down now guys. My missus works in the riding school next to the cricket ground and she just texted me to say she is going home as she's had enough!"
Mick Allen in the TMS inbox

1544: The umpires are inspecting the pitch now. The track itself is fine, it's the damp areas on either side of the square that are the problem. Even without rain the earliest we can possibly start is 1630 BST... with rain, it looks like that might be our summer over... is Tuesday the "most boring day of the week", asks Finchy.

"I once hit Jimmy Krankie square in the chest with a gloriously hooked tee shot on a golf course in Guernsey. How sad is it that that is my only brush with stardom?"
Jay, Geneva in the TMS inbox

"I thought Siders was injured/knackered/just not good enough? Just as long as Malfoy stays I'll be happy. Did you notice he's the only England player with three initials? My mate Nut says all truly great cricketers MUST have three initials and duly lumbered his son with three names (still no sign of Tom being a great cricketer though)."
Jane in sweltering 50C Sharm in the TMS inbox

"Re: Andrew Gell 14.39, the last cricket of any significant Welsh influence was taking the Ashes from the Aussies in 2005 in the form of the true man of the series Simon Jones (Flintoff was a close second to those in the know), not to mention Geraint Jones - arguably far more Welsh influence than any Yorkshire influence."
Pricey in the TMS inbox

"Just want to give a mention to my boss Doug. He retires in two weeks and he is the only other one in the office interested in cricket so I will be left to read the live text on my own. I would also like to mention that I am generally very hard working and only read the text once all my work is done."
Tina - fed up with the rain - Shrewsbury in the TMS inbox

1535: I returned from work last night to discover my house-mate had broken my laptop. He wasn't there and hasn't said anything about it yet. Should I challenge him about it? How long should I wait until he confesses? (PS. I know it was you because I found the bit that had broken off on your bedroom floor...)

"To follow up with Chris of Swansea, Malcolm Nash was never fat. He wasn't particularly fast either and was bowling some left-arm spinners when collared by Sir Garfield."
Colin Allcars, Newport, in the TMS inbox

"In an effort to keep the talk on cricket, I played three frames of snooker against Peter Willey recently. He beat me 2-1. I was rubbish."
Costas, London, in the TMS inbox

1520: Only if England win this match will they leapfrog South Africa into second in the ODI rankings. Any other result and England will stay third behind the Proteas. Another pitch inspection at 1545. "Schnorbitz once fell into a swimming pool at Terry Scott's house, only to be rescued by Barbara Windsor," reveals Wikipedia. An exquisite snapshot of showbiz life in 1980's Britain.

1516: We have sunshine at Sophia Gardens! The umpires make their way to the middle and Nigel Llong is having a right old chuckle to himself. Him and Taufel have clearly been listening to Beefy and Nasser on Sky during the rain in interruption. The super sopper 'hog' sparks up and this looks a little more encouraging...

1510:Bob from Poole emails to ask what are the minimum number of overs each team has to play to make it a match. It can only go as low as 20 overs each, Bob. They're chatting on TMS about the Stanford Twenty20 international, which is England's next game after this one. How on earth are they going to pick that team? The suspicion is that Harmison will replace Sidebottom. Would like to be a fly on the wall when they meet in 20 years time: "How's the kids Siders?" "Not great Steve, we couldn't afford to put them through uni because you nicked my place in that Stanford match."

"Crikey, you write a load of twaddle don't you? Thought you might regale us with some cricket tales or info, but no, just a load of complete tosh about the Krankies. Never mind, I'll be off home soon to watch the cricket on Sky. At least they make these delays and interruptions entertaining."
Terry Robinson in the TMS inbox

"I think Andrew Gell in Leeds needs to check his facts before he gets in touch with TMS. I think he'll find the England team represent the England & Wales Cricket Board. And as for "Gary Sobers lashing six sixes off some fat Welsh guy in a steelworks ground at Swansea," yes, the Welsh guy in question might have been overweight, but St Helens cricket ground is across the road from the beach on Swansea Bay and the nearest steel works are in Port Talbot. Not that I'm one to argue over details..."
Chris, Swansea, in the TMS inbox

1459: Not at all Steve (see below), it's good to know Broken Britain is not all Zoo, Heat and gangs of threatening youths gathered round their mobile phones on trains "battling" one another in the modern hip-hop style. Here's a profound question for you: why does everyone think they're well 'ard nowadays? Back in my day, there was a clearly drawn line between hard types (usually called Gripper or Muller or something) and everyone else. This country...

"Congrats on your choice of reading. Dr Zhivago is in my top three all-time books. The name problem is a challenge, mainly because each character has about three names depending on who is addressing them. I found it helpful to make myself a bookmark with all the characters listed with their different names... and notes on who was related to who and how. Sorry for the distinct lack of wit in this post."
Steve in the TMS inbox

"Re: Dr Zhivago. From my vague recollection the woman from 'Don't Look Now' tries to shoot the chap from 'In the Heat of the Night', and falls in love with him out of 'Lawrence of Arabia'. Then Obi-wan Kenobi turns up later. I may be thinking of the film though."
Alex, Ealing, in the TMS inbox

Rain delay
1446: A minute before the scheduled umpires' inspection, the heavens open. Hello Brooksy, hope you're well. Aaaah, the Krankies, without doubt the oddest double-act in showbiz since Bernie Winters and Schnorbitz. Of course, Schnorbitz replaced Bernie's brother Mike in 1978. Imagine the humiliation? That's like Kevin Keegan being replaced by a chocolate labrador as manager of Newcastle.

"News of the impending weather delays have caused your mate James Brooks to turn into a Crankie... he just said things were 'Fanda-dabi-dozee'."
David, Bracknell, in the TMS inbox

1439: The covers are being hauled back on and it looks like it's going to be one of those horrible, niggly little days. But just as it's probable my mum will say "oooh, ain't they human..." every time a chimpanzee appears on the telly, it's probable a ODI in Cardiff in September is going to be rubbered by the weather. Gina (see below), very much so, I just egged and floured one of the cleaners on the way up to the office.

"Ben - is this the last time this season we will see the cricket on the BBC live text? If so, is there an end of term atmosphere in the office there, with jelly, cake, silly outfits and dorm raids and general buffoonery going on?"
Gina, Gloucestershire, in the TMS inbox

"So here we go then, the final throw of our international summer. So what on earth are we doing playing it in Wales? The only cricket of any significance to happen with any Welsh connection I seem to remember was some grainy BBC black and white film of Gary Sobers lashing six sixes off some fat Welsh guy in a steelworks ground at Swansea."
Andrew Gell, Leeds, in the TMS inbox

1431: While we wait for the pitch inspection (1445 BST), I need a favour. I've just started reading Doctor Zhivago and have reached page 136. Can anyone tell me what's going on? There's more characters in the first few chapters than men who skippered England in the 1988 Test series against the Windies.

1426: Here's what the weather chap on TMS just had to say: "It's not really a great day for a ODI to be honest - there's every chance of light showers over the next few hours, but there will be some play possible in between. But as the evening wears on, there will be heavy and persistent rain, although that should clear around 10-11pm..." Cosmic...

1422: There are actually blue skies over Cardiff at the moment, but the BBC weather forecast for the rest of the day isn't great to be honest. The teams haven't been announced so far, but here's a reminder of the squads:

England: KP Pietersen, JM Anderson, IR Bell, RS Bopara, SCJ Broad, PD Collingwood, AN Cook, A Flintoff, SJ Harmison, SR Patel, MJ Prior, OA Shah, GP Swann, CT Tremlett, LJ Wright

South Africa: JH Kallis, HM Amla, J Botha, MV Boucher, AB de Villiers, JP Duminy, HH Gibbs, JA Morkel, M Morkel, A Nel, M Ntini, JL Ontong, VD Philander, DW Steyn

1410: Afternoon everyone. The bad news is it's been lobbing it down for the last few days in Cardiff and play won't be starting on time unfortunately - the umpires are worried about some damp areas in the outfield. There will be an inspection at 1445 BST and hopefully we'll have some play at some stage today.

see also
England maintain perfect record
31 Aug 08 |  Cricket
England win seals one-day series
29 Aug 08 |  England
England surge to 10-wicket rout
26 Aug 08 |  England
South Africa in England in 2008
26 Aug 08 |  Cricket

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