Cardiff: Persistent rain forced abandonment of the first one-day international between England and South Africa here on Friday after just 5.3 overs of the England innings.
The stop-start affair was already reduced to 23 overs after South Africa won the toss and chose to bowl in overcast conditions. Ian Bell was batting at 26 off 24 balls and Alastair Cook at 10 when the final rain interruption forced the umpires to call off the match.
South Africa drafted in left-arm pacer Wayne Parnell in place of Dale Steyn, who was rested. For England, Chris Woakes replaced Stuart Broad.
The no-result conclusion to the match means that England will retain their new No. 1 crown in the ODIs at least until Tuesday, when the second ODI will be played in Southampton. A win on Friday would have allowed the South Africans to dismantle England from their ODI perch, just like they knocked them out of their No. 1 Test spot less than a week ago.
The sun played hide and seek for most of the day, and covers being taken on and off frustrated the good attendance at Cardiff. When proceedings finally began, it was reduced to a 24-overs affair, which became 23 after the second interruption after just one ball was bowled.