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11-Sep-2012 02:36:00 GMT
England v South Africa, 2nd T20I, Old Trafford

Rain Plays Spoilsport at Old Trafford

Manchester: England's hopes of squaring their three-match Twenty20 series against South Africa were thwarted as heavy rain caused the second international to be abandoned.

After a delayed start at Old Trafford, Hashim Amla hit an unbeaten 47 off 30 balls to lift South Africa to 77-5 in a match reduced to nine overs per side.

England were stuttering on 29-2 off 4.1 overs when a downpour curtailed proceedings, with five overs in the innings required to constitute a match.

The third and final match takes place at Edgbaston on Wednesday.

Rain prevented any play until two hours and 15 minutes after the scheduled 18:30 BST start, but, when the match began, Richard Levi was caught down the leg side off Steven Finn.

Finn struck again with the first ball of his second over when captain AB De Villiers mistimed a lofted drive and was caught at the second attempt by Jade Dernbach, back-pedalling from mid-on.

Luke Wright, called up at Ravi Bopara's expense, took a wicket with his second delivery as Albie Morkel sliced a catch to Jonny Bairstow.

JP Duminy was superbly caught one-handed by Graeme Swann off his own bowling and dangerman Justin Ontong was fooled into a false shot by a Jade Dernbach slower ball.

Amla kept his head through the chaos to carry the fight to England with some precise strokeplay. As has often been the case this summer, he enjoyed some luck along the way as he was horribly dropped by Eoin Morgan at mid-on on 31.

Reprieved, Amla continued to find the boundary with regularity as he and Jacques Kallis added 28 from the last 15 balls - including 18 off a Stuart Broad over - to carry South Africa to a competitive total.

England made a dreadful start with the bat, Craig Kieswetter taking five balls to get off the mark before being caught by a diving Robin Peterson as he swung across the line.

Wright had cracked 14 off 10 balls when he was caught at fine leg by Morne Morkel off his brother Albie's bowling.

It was to be the last action of the match as a torrential shower forced the players off with England behind the required run rate of nine per over and three behind the Duckworth/Lewis par score of 42 after five overs.

Wednesday's contest in Birmingham will be the final opportunity for both teams to fine-tune their line-ups and strategies before the start of the World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka next week.

Brief scores
South Africa
77 for 5 (Amla 47*, Finn 2-17)
England 29 for 2
Result Match abandoned

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