Cardiff - England's Ian Bell shone before rain washed out the first one-day international against South Africa at Cardiff on Friday.
5.3 overs were bowled, after an initial delay of several hours,
following South Africa captain AB de Villiers's decision to field first.
were 37 for no wicket when fresh rain finished off the match with
opener Bell 26 not out off 18 balls, including two sixes and two fours.
Alastair Cook, England's one-day captain, was 10 not out.
Fast bowler Morne Morkel's three overs cost 19 runs and left-arm paceman Lonwabo Tsotsobe conceded 18 in 2.3.
days after South Africa dethroned England as the world's top-ranked
Test side, following a 51-run win at Lord's, they arrived in Cardiff
knowing a 2-2 draw or any kind of series victory in this five-match
contest would see them replace their hosts at the summit of the one-day
No sooner had Morkel opened proceedings with a
legside wide, then the umpires -- in a match already reduced to 23 overs
per side -- took the players off to a chorus of boos from a frustrated
crowd before re-emerging minutes later.
When play resumed, left-hander Cook struck Tsotsobe through the covers for four.
then produced a couple of extraordinary shots, going down the pitch to
loft Morkel for six over the legside and, three balls later, advancing
to drive him for another superb six over mid-off.
In all 16 runs came off the fifth over.
was just time for Bell to flick another boundary, off Tsotsobe, before
more rain saw the match, in which South Africa batsman Dean Elgar was
making his debut, abandoned.
The series continues at Southampton on Tuesday.