1st ODI Eng V South Africa

A very enjoyable game was cut short by messyrs Rain, Duckworth & Lewis (1 | 2) which England won. South Africa’s selectorial commitee did their utmost to give everyone something to talk about by making some cracking decisions: leaving out De Villiers (hit 190+ in the last Test Match, is young, a good athelete and can also keep wicket) and bringing back Adam Bacher after five years! England made their own oddities by leaving out Solanki (100 in his last ODI) and promoting Jones to open. In fact – although it’s tough on Solanki, I get the impression he’s on his way out…

Needless to say, the middle order was spineless and England ran through them. Although England made a hash of things to keep us interested, the main talking point was of Kevin Pietersen and his welcome. He marched to the crease looking pretty nervous, and the massive partisan croud booed him all the way. The commentators on Sky again proved they don’t read the newspapers by making a big thing of Andre Nel’s antics towards him – at one point, Pietersen came through for a single on Vaughan’s call. Nel, chasing the ball from his follow-through, pushed and barged him all the way much to the enjoyment of the croud. It was a good moment which lightened the atmosphere, and had the commentators read the Telegraph they’d have realised the pair were good mates

It was an impressive innings from Pietersen. South Africa aren’t quite ontop of their game, but the atmosphere was fiercely hostile (and England were in a hole at 44/3). He survived it and played a couple of classy shots, confirming not only his ability but his ticker as well.