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Washout at Kensington

EZRA STUART, [email protected]

Washout at Kensington

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A SOLITARY nine-ball over.

That was all that was possible on a frustrating day as rain had the final say with a predictable abandonment in the Ballr Cup Tri-Nations Series One-Day International between Australia and South Africa at Kensington Oval today.

Despite the steady and at times heavy morning showers, cricket started on time but just one over was bowled in overcast conditions due to the persistent all-day, rain, which only briefly relented in mid-afternoon, giving a ray of hope of at least a contest with a reduction in the overs.

Table leaders South Africa, who were sent in by second place Australia after captain AB de Villiers, appearing in his 200th ODI for his country lost the toss, made eight without loss in that over from returning left-arm fast bowler Mitchell Starc.

Opener Quinton de Cock square drove Starc’s second delivery for a boundary and was five not out before the heavens opened quickly.

Unlike the West Indies, who dropped pacer Jerome Taylor for the Barbados leg despite the Kensington pitch traditionally favouring fast bowlers with its extra bounce, both Australia and South Africa wisely boosted their pace attack for the match, selecting an additional seamer in their final team.

South Africa omitted left-arm spinner Tabraiz Shamsi, and brought in the experienced Morne Morkel to join Kagiso Rabada, Wayne Parnell and Chris Morris in a four-pronged pace attack, leaving leg-spinner Imran Tahir as the only specialist slow bowler.

Australia made three changes to their side with Starc returning along with Scott Boland and Glenn Maxwell for leg-spinner Adam Zampa, Travis Head and Nathan Coulter-Nile.

The steady shower continued for the next three hours before abating around 4:30 p.m. allowing the ground staff to remove the covers from the pitch.

However, in doing so, there was a measure of water spillage in some areas, leaving the pitch much too damp for play to restart immediately.

After using a blower to help dry the surface, the umpires decided to have a second inspection at 5:45 p.m. but while that was taking place, it started to drizzle steadily again.

It meant the covers had to be brought back onto the pitch, putting a damper on any possible prospect of play.

The match officials duly confirmed the official abandonment around 6:20 p.m. with both teams gaining two points.

South Africa moved to 12 points, one ahead of Australia on 11 with the West Indies on eight.

The West Indies will next play Australia on Tuesday, before opposing South Africa on Friday.

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