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Page last updated at 17:13 GMT, Sunday, 30 August 2009 18:13 UK

England spared by Manchester rain

First Twenty20 international, Old Trafford: England 4-2 (1.1 ovs) Australia 145-4 (20 ovs) - no result (rain)

By Jamie Lillywhite

Cameron White
Cameron White provided the game's main highlight with a pulsating 55

England were saved from probable defeat in the opening Twenty20 international against Australia when steady rain forced an abandonment at Old Trafford.

They restricted Australia initially after opting to bowl first, but Cameron White blazed three sixes in 55 from 36 balls to get the tourists up to 145-4.

England were struggling at 4-2 in the second over of their reply when rain set in and the match was called off.

The final match of the series is also at Old Trafford on Tuesday evening.

The teams were very different from those for the final Test match at The Oval, which England won seven days earlier to regain the Ashes -England's line-up featured six players from that match, Australia's only three.

And it was two who played no part in the Ashes that impressed most, White's clean hitting providing the day's batting highlight and paceman Brett Lee, delighted to finally return from injury, bowled fast and straight, reaching 92mph.

England rotated seamers James Anderson, Ryan Sidebottom and Stuart Broad to good effect at the start of Australia's innings, all of them touching 90 mph and cramping the batsmen for room.

Numerous full blooded swings spooned high off the bat as the Australians found the surface difficult, the ball sticking in the pitch and not coming on to the bat as expected.

Shane Watson fell to Broad for 10, caught at mid-wicket by Ravi Bopara, and skipper Paul Collingwood, who brought himself on after the completion of the powerplay, made a double breakthrough as he collected 2-20 from his four overs.

His first wicket was fortunate as umpire Richard Kettleborough, in his first one-day international, gave David Warner out lbw for 33 even though the ball had pitched outside leg-stump.

606: DEBATE
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But Collingwood completely deceived David Hussey two balls later and an agricultural swing and miss, left keeper Matt Prior with the formality of whipping off the bails for a stumping.

At the halfway point, Australia had scored only three fours in their 60-3, but White's eye was sufficiently in to swipe the first six of the innings in the 16th over, a mighty hit over mid-wicket.

He danced down the wicket in the next over to launch Graeme Swann way over long-on for six more, holding a magnificently extravagant follow-through for the cameras.

Given the bulk of the strike by shrewd skipper Michael Clarke, White reached fifty from 33 balls with a short-arm jab over mid-wicket that sailed high into the committee room.

His innovative innings ended when Collingwood leapt smartly in the covers after White had smeared a wide one from Broad, bowling effectively from round the wicket.

Luke Wright spilled a straightforward looking chance on the long-on boundary as Australia somehow mustered eight from an excellent final over from Sidebottom, who as ever did not hide his disappointment.

England's reply was delayed by the weather and only seven legitimate deliveries were possible when the players finally returned to the middle.

Ravi Bopara walks off after he was dismisse for a duck at Old Trafford
Bopara's poor form with the bat continued at Old Trafford

Joe Denly's first Twenty20 international innings lasted one ball, as he was beaten for pace by Lee's gun-barrel straight bouncer and spooned tamely to square-leg.

And Ravi Bopara, dropped during the Ashes after a wretched run of form, then tried to force a rising delivery from Mitchell Johnson wide of off-stump and Watson took the edge at first slip, standing almost on the 30-yard circle.

The players were then forced back to the dressing room but although the umpires later approved a re-start, with England having to score 46 from 23 balls under a revised target, a renewed downpour put paid to any hopes of a resumption.

Rain then set in and although the umpires hoped to re-start, with England facing the task of scoring 46 from 23 deliveries to reach a revised target, but a renewed downpour snuffed out any lingering hopes of further action.

In the end it was the crowd who were disappointed, with no refunds offered, while the players come back to the same wicket on Tuesday for the second and final match of the series.



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see also
Collingwood hails England spirit
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England v Australia photos
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Hussey delight at maiden century
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Australia ease to win over Scots
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England edge to win over Ireland
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Victorious England regain Ashes
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Ponting rested for Twenty20 games
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Flintoff named in England squads
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Live cricket on the BBC
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Australia in England 2009
20 Sep 09 |  England


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