England vs Pakistan abandoned after persistent rain in Cardiff

A rainy Sophia Gardens before England vs Pakistan
Play was delayed because of persistent rain in Cardiff - Getty Images/Gareth Copley

England’s Twenty20 World Cup preparations have been damaged by further rain during their series against Pakistan, with the third match of the T20 series rained off in Cardiff.

Boos from the crowd greeted confirmation of the decision, but the umpires were left with little choice. The persistent rain means that two games in the series have so far been abandoned without a ball being bowled, with the only match played England’s victory at Edgbaston last Saturday. England lead the series 1-0, with Pakistan hoping to square the series on Thursday.

There is a further threat of rain in the fourth and final T20 at The Oval. This will be England’s last match before their T20 World Cup campaign begins in Barbados next Tuesday. Scotland, England’s opponents in their opening game, are already in the Caribbean to acclimatise, and will play warm-up matches on Thursday and Friday in Trinidad & Tobago before flying to Barbados.

The series against Pakistan is England’s only T20 series in the first five months of the year. It is considered crucial to their T20 World Cup defence, with poor preparation regarded as one of England’s mistakes during their poor ODI World Cup last year.

Rain marring the series leaves several England players at risk of being undercooked for the T20 World Cup, especially among their pace attack. Jofra Archer’s appearance last Saturday, when he took an impressive 2-28, remains his only England match in the last 14 months. Mark Wood has not played a T20 match of any sort since April 2023.

Adil Rashid, another crucial member of the bowling attack, has only bowled four overs in any format of the game since February. Number three Will Jacks has also spoken about how he is still learning the role, after spending the bulk of his career opening the batting.

While England will enjoy far warmer weather when they travel to the World Cup, they might encounter further rain during the wet season in the Caribbean.

08:23 PM BST

Disrupted preparations

The first match of this series at Headingley last week was washed out and today has also been abandoned without a ball bowled. The game at Edgbaston last Saturday has been the only chance so far for these two teams to get some preparation in and they along with all of us will be praying that the weather in London on Thursday can play ball. I do have to say the weather looks a little iffy in Vauxhall on Thursday but hopefully we should get a game in.

The big screen shows match abandoned in Cardiff
Match abandoned in Cardiff, unfortunately - Gareth Copley/Getty Images

08:14 PM BST

Match abandoned

I am sorry to bring you the bad and sadly inevitable news that the match has been abandoned without a ball bowled. It is onto The Oval on Thursday for the final T20. That is England’s final game before their T20 World Cup campaign begins next Tuesday against Scotland in Bridgetown, Barbados.

07:58 PM BST

Pitch inspection, or no inspection?

There was set to be a pitch inspection at 20:10 but that was before the rain returned. Famous last words from the previous post, that is not the last of the rain. The closer we get to the cut-off time with it still raining the more remote chances of play will become.

Pitch inspection at 8:10 if no further rain - but it’s still raining sadly.

Supporters sit under their umbrellas in the stands
Any hope of play tonight? - Adrian Dennis/Getty Images

07:53 PM BST

Rain has stopped

We have good news to bring you. It has stopped raining in Cardiff and the mopping-up process can begin, so long as it does not start raining again. The weather forecast does look clear from 20:15 onwards so maybe it has stopped slightly early. A reminder that we have to be on by 21:15 for a five-over game.

07:52 PM BST

Sky’s Stuart Broad on 2022

There’s a lot of leaders in this England changing room. Yes, you’ve had a couple of experienced players leave, but there’s still a huge amount left in there.

I think the blips [mid-tournament], as Eoin [Morgan] mentioned, they are important - because they strengthen your mindset again.

They make you go, ‘what has got us here, what s made us one of the top-ranked teams?’ It allows you to reconnect as a team, and that is where your leaders come to the fore.

You can’t think of many franchise tournaments, Blast games, The Hundred, where teams have won every game. It would be very rare - looking ahead to this year’s T20 World Cup in the USA and Caribbean - for the winner to win every game through the tournament.

You are going to lose along the way, it’s just a case of how you bounce back from that loss. And obviously you don’t want that to happen in a semi-final... you want to be peaking as as side by that point.

07:37 PM BST

Sky’s Eoin Morgan on England’s T20 success in 2022

There was the transition between myself and Jos [Buttler] as captain, Matthew Mott has come in as head coach. The team really gelled, got to know each other inside out, and I think that really helped them when they lost against Ireland [in group stage].

I loved the way England adapted to conditions. They went through that tournament, asking questions of where the team were going, what they wanted to achieve, and then went back to what worked.

You feel that side justified the two two previous T20 World Cups. In the UAE in 2021, losing in the semi-final against New Zealand, and 2016 with Carlos Brathwaite getting the better of Ben Stokes in the final.

Unless you win something, you don’t really justify the strength in depth and talent that England have. I was absolutely delighted.

07:31 PM BST

Salt aiming for red ball, not just white

Our very own Nick Hoult has sat down this week for an exclusive interview with Phil Salt who, if the rain stops, should be in England’s XI tonight. He is part of the T20 squad for the World Cup but he is also aiming to play red-ball cricket for England as well. You can read more from Nick’s exclusive interview with Salt here.

Phil Salt during an England nets session at Edgbaston
Could Phil Salt push for a spot in the England Test side in the months ahead? - Gareth Copley/Getty Images

07:08 PM BST

The latest from Cardiff

07:02 PM BST

Umbrellas necessary

Pakistan fans sitting under an umbrella in the stands
Will we see play this evening? We hope so - Andy Kearns/Getty Images
A view from the stands at a wet Sophia Gardens
It is wet in Cardiff! - Andy Kearns/Getty Images

06:52 PM BST

Vaughan signs for Somerset

In other cricket news today, Ashes-winning captain Michael Vaughan’s son Archie has signed his first professional contract with Somerset. Archie has been part of the Somerset academy since 2020 and now has earned a pro contract. You can read more about the news in Tim Wigmore’s piece. Tim is also at Cardiff for us this evening, hoping like us all to see some actual cricket this evening.

A picture of Michael Vaughan's son Archie
Archie Vaughan has signed his first professional contact with Somerset

06:45 PM BST

Taking cover

Fans in the stands shelter from the rain
Spectators trying to shelter from the rain! - Nick Potts/PA

06:40 PM BST

Some optimism?

Cheers at any suggestions of the covers being removed - although it’s still raining, it is getting much lighter and brighter. I’m told we can start around 9.20pm to get in a five over-a-side game. Still considerable optimism we will get cricket, although it might be a very short game.

06:38 PM BST

Will Jacks speaking to Sky

06:36 PM BST

Current scene

It does not look great at the moment but the weather is set to improve as the night goes on. The latest start time for a five over game is just past 21:15 BST.

The covers are on at Sophia Gardens
A bleak scene in Cardiff at the moment - Gareth Copley/Getty Images

06:31 PM BST

England’s World Cup fixtures

For England, their campaign gets under way this time next week when they take on Scotland. Jos Buttler’s men are hoping to defend their crown which they won in Australia in 2022. Here is a rundown of England’s group fixtures:

England vs Scotland (Bridgetown, 15:30 BST) Tuesday 4th June

Australia vs England (Bridgetown, 18:00 BST) Saturday 8th June

England vs Oman (North Sound, 20:00 BST) Thursday 13th June

Namibia vs England (North Sound, 18:00 BST) Saturday 15th June

The top two teams in each group will qualify for the Super 8’s.

06:23 PM BST

Broad on Sky

Now that he is retired from playing, Stuart Broad has been working for Sky in recent times and he has been giving his views on England’s T20 World Cup preparations. He was a part of the England squad that won the T20 World Cup in 2010 in the Caribbean, which hosts next month’s World Cup along with the USA, so he knows a thing or two about winning a World Cup in this format in that part of the world.

06:18 PM BST

The picture from Cardiff at the moment

06:12 PM BST

Toss delayed

It is probably no surprise to hear that the toss has been delayed and the game will not be commencing at 18:30. The covers are on and we will keep you updated when there are further inspections. Fingers crossed we get some more positive news soon.

06:02 PM BST

Hope of some play

It’s pretty miserable in Cardiff, but the rain is expected to stop in half an hour or so. The drainage is excellent here so still hopes of a match. Five overs a side is the minimum amount needed to constitute a match. It could be good preparation for England for what they will face in the Caribbean, where it is rainy season and some interruptions are likely.

05:52 PM BST

Will Jacks hopeful Viray Kohli influence will pay off

By Phil Blanche, PA

Will Jacks believes Virat Kohli’s influence on his career can help him propel England to T20 World Cup glory.

Jacks heads in to the third T20 game against Pakistan on Tuesday full of confidence after playing a key role in Saturday’s 23-run win at Edgbaston.

The Surrey batter smashed 37 from 23 balls in what ultimately proved a decisive partnership with captain Jos Buttler as England took a 1-0 lead in the rain-hit four-match series.

It was the latest example of Jacks’ power hitting that came to the fore in the Indian Premier League and so impressed Royal Challengers Bangalore team-mate Kohli.

“The big thing with the IPL is that every game is such an occasion, the crowd, the atmosphere,” Jacks said ahead of England’s clash with Pakistan at Cardiff, little more than a week from their World Cup opener against Scotland in Barbados.

“Every game you feel like you’ve got to step up and that’s similar to international cricket.

“Playing in a World Cup is something I’ve dreamed of since I was a little kid. I’m really excited to do it.

“It’s getting closer now and we’re building in the right direction.”

Batting at the opposite end to India great Kohli has the potential to unsettle far more experienced players than Jacks.

The 25-year-old’s international experience, after all, is limited to only two Test matches, seven one-day internationals and 12 T20 appearances.

But Jacks grabbed the headlines last month by blasting an unbeaten century off just 41 balls - including 28 runs from one Rashid Khan over - as Bangalore chased down 200 to beat Gujarat Titans in a high-pressure situation.

Kohli later said he was happy to watch the carnage at the other end and play a supporting role to Jacks.

“He’s a very good role model,” said Jacks, who also bowls useful off-spin. “The way he approaches all the training and every aspect of the game off the field, his intensity, everything he does is a 100 per cent attention.”

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