Cow Corner

Rain thwarts Oval efforts

Cow Corner

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16.52: PLAY IS ABANDONED FOR THE DAY. The umpires have been out for an inspection, and after a chat with the captains decided to call things off.  

16.29: Still raining, still gloomy. The draw is looking more and more likely.... 

15.45: Chances of further play today are looking fairly slim, kids. It is still raining, and the ground must be sodden by now. In addition, it's very gloomy out there. 

14.42: They say no news is good news. Not in this case. No news is bad news. It's still raining. 

14.11: It's not a heavy rain, but it is consistent and the ground is pretty wet at the moment. I tell you what folks; this is a day to be inside and not at the ground. 

13.48: The rain is quite heavy at the moment. It was forecast to stick around for a while, and it looks like it might. Sorry folks. 

13.32: The covers are still on at the Oval; it has been raining quite heavily during the lunch interval; we're not going to get away on time, I'm afraid. 

South Africa 110 (27 overs): LUNCH: South Africa continue to bat with freedom, and have eaten into England's lead so much that it now stands at just 12 runs. The home side will have to use the swinging ball better this afternoon if they are to get back on top. 

South Africa 106-2 (25 overs): It's all got a little gloomy over the Oval. Clouds are gathering, moods are deepening. It's not quite a Beijing smog, but close to it. Thoughts are turning to lunch; cold takeaway pizza, left over from before Broad and Ambrose took to the town after the close of play last night.

South Africa 95-2 (23 overs): Flintoff is into the attack to join Broad; he almost manages to remove Amla when the batsman gets a thin inside edge on a drive, but despite a valiant diving effort, Ambrose can't quite pouch the catch. A couple of balls later, Flintoff roars his frustration as Amla gets a low edge through gully for four. The batsman has raced on to 62 from just 75 balls. 

South Africa 82-2 (20.4 overs): GOT HIM! GREAT BOWLING FROM BROAD! The youngster is into the attack for the first time this morning...after almost getting through McKenzie with a full, straight one that takes the inside edge, he sends down an identical delivery that beats his defences and takes out off-stump!

South Africa 73-1 (19 overs): Pietersen has been forced to spread the field a little to stop the leaking of runs; South Africa only trial now by 53 runs. Amla is fortunate to escape when an inside edge just avoids going back onto his stumps...and Anderson is further frustrated when a Panesar misfield allows four to the long-on boundary. 

South Africa 60-1 (17 overs): McKenzie is very fortunate to get away with a top-edged pull that flies down to fine leg, 20 yards finer than Panesar out on the boundary. The batsman isn't happy with himself, and England look rueful. Sky Sports bring up a graphic that shows that of the 48 balls that Anderson and Harmison have sent down this morning, none would have gone on to hit the stumps... 

South Africa 52-1 (15 overs): Anderson is getting plenty swing, but he just can't quite get his line right at the moment. You can't help but think that Ryan Sidebottom would have been a perfect bowler in these conditions; disciplined swing, coming back into the right-handers. Ho-hum. Time for Flintoff?

South Africa 46-1 (13 overs): Amla has raced to 33 not out, taking advantage of the attacking fields last night and this morning. He slams Anderson for a boundary over the top of cover when the bowler drops short.

South Africa 41-1 (11 overs): Anderson has immediately found some swing, and is trying to set McKenzie and Amla up with the old outswinger-outswinger-outswinger-inswinger trick. The two batsmen are on to him though; Smith has obviously had a word. Anderson has been superb this summer; a strike-rate of a wicket every 47 balls. 

South Africa 38-1 (9 overs): Harmison has the first over of the day... 

11.30 - OFF WE GO! The rain has abated, and we're about to have some play... 

11.10 - The news is that the rain has ceased for the time being, and it looks as though we could have play at 11.30. England will be itching to get on there and try to exploit any swing that might be in the air. 

10.53 - The rain has come, I'm afraid, and it has come fairly heavily. The rain wasn't predicted to arrive until a bit later, but there we go. A delayed start, folks. Still, as disappointed as you are reading this at home, just think how peeved you'd feel had you shelled out £45 for a ticket for today's play. 

10.42 -  The good news is that it is dry at the moment and we are set to get away on time. The wicket is still in great nick, but Beefy reckons the ball will begin to turn a little at the end of today...a few drops of rain have begun to fall, but nothing too heavy at the moment...

10.24 - A bit of news on the weather front; the clouds and rain are expected to get heavier and heavier throughout the day, so we can expect plenty of interruptions. Not good conditions for either side, although perhaps England will be looking to use the cloud and disruptions to their advantage. 

10.11 - Cricket fans; welcome to the third day of this fantastic Test from the Oval. It's been a right old rollercoaster thus far; South Africa started well, England fought back to shoot them out for a paltry score. Then the home side got on top thanks to skipper KP, before machine-gunning themselves in the foot with a middle-order collapse.

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