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Rain, D/L method cause heartbreak for South Africa
by Jinu Sabastian


Ground:New Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg
Scorecard:South Africa v England
Player:LE Bosman, GC Smith, EJG Morgan, PD Collingwood, IJL Trott
Event:England in South Africa 2009/10

DateLine: 13th November 2009

 

A combination of rain and Duckworth-Lewis method was enough to undo all the brilliant work that Smith and Bosman did earlier. The Proteas started off with a bang with Bosman and Smith setting the tone for an electrifying run-chase. A splendid opening partnership lost its importance as South Africa lost three wickets in quick time. Rain hit the scenes from nowhere and in the end, curtailed the game meaning that South Africa were one less than the par score at that stage.

 

Smith won the toss and had no hesitation in electing to field first believing that he had enough ammunition to restrict an English line-up that was missing Pietersen. Langeveldt provided the perfect start when he trapped a shuffling Denly leg-before off the first ball of the match and the visitors were on the back-foot immediately. In walked Trott and unlike the hostile reception that Pietersen received five years back, he was subjected to much friendlier claps from the stands. Trott was peppered with short ones from Langeveldt and McLaren and after the initial discomfort he began to unravel some sumptuous pull shots. Cook was trapped leg before by McLaren but Trott motored along unperturbed. The right-hander feasted upon Steyn as he tore into the South African spearhead by crashing four boundaries in a row to drive Steyn into despair. Collingwood began his innings with an authoritative pull off Morkel into the midwicket stand and the runs began to flow freely.

 

Trott was dismissed when he failed to beat a throw from point and in walked Morgan. The left-hander displayed some powerful shots as he scattered the South African bowlers to all parts of the ground. One six over the leg side went out of the ground, off a colourless Steyn and the assault simply continued. Morgan dispatched Morkel for 14 off three balls before Collingwood made it 21 with a thumping blow over long on. Both Collingwood and Morgan reached their half centuries in the 15th over as the pair added 98 in 9.1 overs. South Africa did well by claiming late two wickets but Morgan had none of this as he went berserk by slamming McLaren and Langeveldt for three more sixes to push the score past the 200 run mark.

 

South Africa in reply got off to a blistering start as openers Bosman and Smith gave England a taste of their own medicine. Anderson began with a tight over in which he conceded just two runs but that was just a false dawn for the English bowlers. Bresnan was the first to come under the stunning assault as Bosman got a boundary and a six and then the South African batsman trained his guns on Anderson. Anderson disappeared for 16 runs and that began a deluge of runs. Both the openers were ruthless as they tore into an unimaginative bowling attack which persisted in using the slower balls and the bouncers while still in the Powerplays. Collingwood was limited to just try and shuffle his bowlers around but to no avail as the openers continued with their stunning assault. Mahmood coming back into the squad provided a glimpse of hope to the battered Collingwood that he could contain the batsmen but after a tight first over he too disappeared for 19 runs in his second over.

 

After the Powerplays got over the South African score read 67 for no loss and Collingwood looked twice his age on the field. Though the Powerplays were over the openers still went for their shots and Smith was finally dismissed when he tried to carve Wright over point but could find only Morgan at the fence. Bosman tried to launch Swann out of the ground but ended up skying the ball which was gleefully accepted by Collingwood at mid-wicket. Duminy was trapped leg before by Mahmood to give some hope to the battered English side. Then out of nowhere in the 12th over it began to rain and all the calculators were out to compute the Duckworth-Lewis calculations. To prevent the confusion and the communication break-down that happened way back in 2003 World Cup AB de Villiers carried a piece of paper with him which gave him and Morkel some idea of what they required. The South African team managed to keep abreast with the D/L score as Morkel deposited Swann into the midwicket stand but Anderson did an excellent job as he bowled a tight 13th over to hand England the D/L advantage. The rain was unrelenting and finally the umpires were left with no but to call off the match. In the process England won the first encounter by one run thanks to D/L method.


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